Alternative Care Initiatives Projects
Uganda Care Leavers (UCL) is a social welfare project designed to support children, youths and adults who have spent all or part of their childhood in institutional care (also known as residential facilities, child care facilities and orphanages). UCL is jointly supported by Alternative Care Initiatives and Bula Inc. in the USA.
UCL activities include: creation of a network of Uganda care leavers that enables members to provide support to each other through shared experiences and mutual understanding; resulting in a community with a common identity. This is facilitated through social media and regional meetings with other social support services.
Identification of care leaver champions and assisting them mobilise other care leavers.
Conducting research that enables care leavers to inform and influence government policy and donor attitudes through advocating for changes to the care system in Uganda.
UCL advocates for: donors that support institutional care in Uganda to inform themselves of the harm done by long-term residential care and to re-direct their existing support for children into reunification and social support programmes.
Managers of existing residential care facilities to inform the children in their care, and those who have recently left, of the support offered by UCL.
NGOs operating in Uganda to include awareness in their programmes and services of the unique problems faced by care leavers. Government policy-makers to include recognition of society’s duty towards care leavers and include provision for them in service design, especially because of the increase in the numbers of care leavers as Uganda deinstitutionalises its child care system.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Thrive provides community-based care to children being cared for by parents, next of kin and foster families through three integrated programs: economic empowerment, heath and child development. For more information see the Thrive website.
BULA runs a number of programmes in Uganda that provides educational support to vulnerable children, and it works in the field of child protection, advocating alternative care solutions for orphaned and vulnerable children, and implementing and monitoring care solutions for such children. For more information see the BULA website.
Reunite is a direct intervention to reunite families where children have been separated from their families. Reunite has reunified children who were lost in the orphanage system, trafficked for international adoption, kidnapped or separated because of their mothers' treatment in the Government Psychiatric Hospital.
Reunite works with families to make sure that the resettlement is sustainable and has every chance of being successful by providing social work services, economic empowerment, school fees (means-tested) and in some cases emergency support (food, medical services etc.). Reunite believes that the only long-term commitment to the families working with Reunite is social work monitoring and support. Reunite also has a foster care pilot scheme that has so far proved very successful.
Reunite dreams of a Uganda where every child has a family who loves and cares for them. Reunite dreams of a Uganda where institutional care is a memory of the past and instead a country wide resettlement programme is implemented and where foster care is used for families in crisis instead of 'orphanage' care. Reunite hopes to be able to continue to play our role in fulfilling this dream.
The government of Uganda in consultation with civil society has developed a set of official standards and processes to be used when responding to the plight of orphaned and vulnerable children. It is called the Alternative Care Framework. This website explains the priority of options in the continuum of care that forms the basis of the Framework.
Government Alternative Care Support
Supporting the government in building capacity to deliver the Alternative Care Framework and advising on the Alternative Care strategy. ACI formally provide support and coordination services to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD) Alternative Care Unit.
Civil Society Alternative Care Support
Supporting civil society organizations in the planning, development and implementation of family preservation, resettlement and alternative care strategies.
Programme Development and Management
Providing programme development and programme support to help organisations to develop, plan and implement alternative care programmes to ensure that they are fully compliant with the Alternative Care Framework.
Lobbying government and donors to invest in family based solutions for children without parental care, in line with the continuum of care as outlined in the Alternative Care Framework – family preservation, resettlement, kinship care, foster care and adoption.
Below is a video of an Alternative Care workshop held in Kampala.