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Closing the implementation gap : moving forward the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

Davidson, Jennifer (2015) Closing the implementation gap : moving forward the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 6 (3). pp. 379-387.

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Abstract

This paper offers a brief picture of an international policy framework, the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, and their development from their initial birth place within the Committee on the Rights of the Child to today. It provides an overview of the key principles of these Guidelines, drawing from a new resource developed to support their implementation around the world, entitled Moving Forward: Implementing the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. This overview includes an explanation of the ‘necessity’ and ’suitability’ principles; the importance of prevention alongside a robust ‘gatekeeping’ function; the fundamental need for developing a genuine range of options; and the significance of focusing on ‘de-institutionalising the care system’. This paper aims to offer something of a road map, identifying a number of key milestones in the path negotiated for children’s rights to be fully realised in alternative care. While this is a long road, the course has been internationally agreed.