The purpose of Uniting for Children is to raise awareness about the best practices for the care of orphaned and vulnerable children. We believe the best place for children to grow up is in healthy families. When children are displaced from their parents, or are vulnerable to such displacement due to a crisis or poverty, we believe in seeking community and family-based solutions. Residential care centers can fulfill important roles, but they are ideally a last and temporary resort.
That being said, we don’t live in an ideal world, and it’s going to take people of diverse callings and perspectives working together to make things better.
We want to encourage positive conversations. We have seen tremendous examples of organizations practicing family-based care and providing services that support and restore families. We are also seeing residential care centers transforming themselves in ways that are a “win” for everyone: children, families, and the care-providers as well.
We welcome care providers, donors, volunteers, advocates, and government workers to learn here then connect and share with others.
You may notice some articles published here are addressed to Christians or written from a Christian point of view. We think these articles are very important, because so many Christians are working in this field. Don’t interpret that as exclusivity. Keep reading and you will see a variety of beliefs and viewpoints are welcomed and represented.
Sarah is the Country Advisor of M’lup Russey, an organization supporting best practices for the care of vulnerable children in Cambodia. M’lup Russey works with government leaders at the policy level, trains caregivers, and provides reintegration and emergency foster care services.
Craig Greenfield is based in Cambodia. He is the Director of Alongsiders International (www.alongsiders.org), a movement to reach the world’s most vulnerable children. Alongsiders equips compassionate young Christians in poor nations to walk alongside those who walk alone: to love, welcome and encourage the most vulnerable children and orphans, in their own communities.
Mick travels around the world training and consulting for NGO’s and care providers involved in the care of vulnerable children. He has more than 30 years of related experience in the U.K. and in Brazil. Mick and his wife, Brenda, founded the U.K. based organization Substitute Families for Abandoned Children (www.sfac.org.uk).
Andy is the founding editor of Uniting for Children. He ran a transition program for youth leaving an orphanage in Cambodia from 2010 to 2014. He worked with M’lup Russey in Cambodia as a Communications Advisor from 2012 to 2014. He presently works as a writer and “Scribe” with Alongsiders International.
Would you like to write an article?
Or suggest someone else?
- We are looking for articles that point the way forward toward community and family-based care. We want to focus on examples of positive change, not just repeating the shortcomings of the present situation.
- We are interested in residential care centers that are taking steps to restore families and support children in family-based care whenever possible.
- We are looking for other organizations and grassroots efforts that strengthen and restore families and children, so that children are less vulnerable and less likely to end up in need of outside interventions.
- We want stories and examples from experience, including inspiring and practical articles for caregivers, volunteers, donors, churches, etc.
Scroll down for more suggestions and some guidelines.
- Family-based care examples and stories
Stories and experiences of family-based care working in real contexts
- Transforming orphanages and other institutional care situations
Stories of orphanages and other centers transforming into centers of support and restoration for families and communities
- Foster care and kinship care in developing countries
How foster care and kinship care is working in developing countries and how challenges are faced
Guidance for individuals and groups considering visiting and volunteering with vulnerable children
- Christians involved in orphan care
Learning from what the Bible says about caring for orphans and vulnerable children
You don’t have to be a brilliant writer if you write from what you know and based on your experience (not that brilliant writers will be turned away!). We prefer original articles, but we can use articles that have been not published on blogs and have not been seen by a wide audience yet.
- Think about your intended audience, and ground your writing in experience.
- Back up your points, if applicable, but avoid technical jargon and lecturing.
- Short is the new long. Generally limit articles to 600-1000 words.
- Send a picture or two if you can to illustrate the article (if you can).
- Only contribute your own work that you are legally entitled to publish (including articles, pictures, video).
- Change the names of any minors you refer to, and don’t send recognizable pictures of children living in residential care. Pictures of groups in public places are generally okay.
Child Protection and Privacy Statement
We will protect the physical and emotional well-being of children and youth and preserve their dignity in the process of creating, obtaining, and displaying content for UnitingForChildren.org and it’s social media extensions. This supersedes any consent given by their parents, guardians or others acting on their behalf.
We will endeavor not subject children to duress or indignity in our processes or results. Any involvement of children or use of their images must be editorially justified.
Sensitive information about children we write about or portray, including information about their identities, locations, status in care, and medical conditions, must be guarded. We may, when noted, change names and details in order to tell important stories without revealing the subjects.
Editorial Guidelines for Reporting on Children
When considering how to tell an important story, when an editorial decision is required, the editor will consider the International Federation of Journalists “Guidelines on Children Reporting” as a guideline:
Journalists and media organisations shall strive to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct in reporting children’s affairs and, in particular, they shall:
- Strive for standards of excellence in terms of accuracy and sensitivity when reporting on issues involving children;
- Avoid programming and publication of images which intrude upon the media space of children with information which is damaging to them;
- Avoid the use of stereotypes and sensational presentation to promote journalistic material involving children;
- Consider carefully the consequences of publication of any material concerning children and shall minimise harm to children;
- Guard against visually or otherwise identifying children unless it is demonstrably in the public interest;
- Give children, where possible, the right of access to media to express their own opinions without inducement of any kind;
- Ensure independent verification of information provided by children and take special care to ensure that verification takes place without putting child informants at risk;
- Avoid the use of sexualised images of children;
- Use fair, open and straight forward methods for obtaining pictures and, where possible, obtain them with the knowledge and consent of children or a responsible adult, guardian or carer;
- Verify the credentials of any organisation purporting to speak for or to represent the interests of children;
- Not make payment to children for material involving the welfare of children or to parents or guardians of children unless it is demonstrably in the interest of the child.
The views expressed at Uniting for Children and in its social media extensions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Advisors or their organizations. Editorial decisions are made by the editor. Advisors are asked to review the website and communicate concerns if any.
Do not copy or reproduce content on the website without asking permission. All content is under the copyrights of the people who created it and is published here with permission. We are happy to forward requests to the copyright owners if requested.