The recent IFCO (International Foster Care Organisation) Conference held in November, had partners ‘The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society’, The Foundation for Social Welfare Services’ and ‘Eurochild’.
This is a short series profiling IFCO’s partners and the work that they do to protect and advance the rights and well-being of children. Maintaining an international awareness of the changing trends in relation to foster care is an important part of the focus of Rainbow International. There can be no doubt, that in the coming years, the work of such organisations will directly affect the thinking and policies of national governments in relation to child welfare issues. The recent ‘Seminar on Children’s Mental Health and Child-Friendly Justice’, held in the UK, detailed below is an example of this trend.
Eurochild is a network of organisations (165 organisations and individuals from 33 countries) – working with, and for children throughout Europe. The ultimate goal of Eurochild is to build –
“a society that respects the rights of children. We influence policies, build internal capacities, facilitate mutual learning and exchange practice and research. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the foundation of all our work.”
Eurochild has been successful in securing the European Commission Recommendation on Investing in Children; it has also enlisted the support of 100 MEP’s who have pledged to become ‘Child Rights Champions’ and secured an EU commitment to bring child poverty to an end, as well as halt institutional care in the spending of European Structural Funds (325 billion euros).
The history of Eurochild was that it evolved from the former European Forum for Child Welfare (EFCW). This was the European branch of the IFCW (International Forum for Child Welfare). In 2003 several members of the EFCW made the decision to dissolve EFCW and
found a new organisation: Eurochild had its inaugural meeting in March 2004.
Today, Eurochild has become a network that has gained international recognition for the work that it does promoting children’s rights and well being. only recently, the European Commission renewed a four year strategic partnership which recognised the important role played by Eurochild insuring last year’s ‘Recommendation Investing in Children’ and now in supporting its implementation across EU member states. The list of other strategic partners working with Eurochild in recent years is both long and prestigious. The joint campaign with ‘Hope and Homes for Children on Opening Doors for Europe’s Children’, achieved important steps toward bringing to an end institutional care in Europe. Eurochild has gone on to campaign on a platform with UNICEF plus thirteen other child rights organisations to make the EU a global champion for children’s rights.
Foster care will be impacted positively by the ‘Seminar on Children’s Mental Health and
And most recently – 6th – 7th November – Eurochild joined in a seminar held on children’s mental health and child-friendly justice, organised by the UK Parliament in tandem with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
The seminar was held under the chairmanship of Baroness Doreen Massey and Stella Kyriakides (President of PACE). Interactive discussions then took place which involved members of national parliaments, NGO representatives as well as children and young people themselves:
“We need to listen and learn from children. It is important to do so, if we really want to come up with effective and comprehensive solutions”, said Stella Kyriakides, PACE President. Perhaps the key outcome of the seminar included an agreement on the importance and need for a separate legal and court system for children. And, further, there is a requirement for a multi-disciplinary angle to to deal with mental health issues which ensures that all stakeholders in mental health care provision cooperate. It was also determined that there be a single designated person for a child to liaise with. Participants at the seminar also concluded that children and young people should be at the centre of decision making. The children and young people themselves pressed for improved training for professionals working with children. They also urged that they be aware of symptoms relating to mental health and how best to deal with them. And training needs to be given by young people who have experienced mental health problems.
The director of the children’s rights programme at the Council of Europe, Regina Jensdottir, in commenting on the seminar and its recommendations said: “children’s mental health will be a key priority for the Council of Europe.”
Foster with Rainbow.
Call 020 8427 3355 to build a career in foster care. Transferring to Rainbow couldn’t be easier if you already foster. ‘Rainbow Rewards’ is an incentive scheme for foster carers transferring to us. And, if you refer someone to foster with Rainbow, you will receive a bonus when they have accepted their first placement.
Some more good news at the end of our Rainbow…we have completed our questionnaire for foster carers aimed at getting valuable feedback. This will be valuable in helping us plan next year’s summer visits and activities. We hope all our foster children enjoyed this summer’s activities.
Visit our website news section for stories about foster care.
Three sisters sue Glasgow Council in foster care abuse case
Glasgow city council is being sued is now being sued by three sisters. They were placed with foster parents and then were allegedly abused by them. It is claimed that John and Alma Cassidy would beat and sexually abuse the children whilst they were in the foster home