As a donor/supporter it is important to know that the orphanage you are supporting is operating legally and following best practice. This includes ensuring that the orphanage is legitimately a last resort option for children and is not actively recruiting children and separating families unnecessarily.
If you are currently supporting a Kinnected project, we are grateful for your partnership. Your project has aligned with international law, child rights and good practice in the care of children in adversity by making the following declaration and commitment:
We believe in the universal principle that God designed children to be in families and that it is in families that children best grow, develop and thrive.
We support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the right of the child to live with their parents and/or grow up in a family environment.
We commit to actively advocating, supporting and engaging in family-based care for orphaned and vulnerable children as defined in the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.
As part of this commitment the Project will:
Seek to preserve families by assisting parents to fulfil their role as primary nurtures of children.
Ensure that priority will be given to family based care options for children deemed in need of alternative care by a competent social worker. Residential care will only serve as a last resort and temporary option and reintegration planning will commence as soon as a child is admitted into residential care.
Develop reintegration and reunification programs for all residential care centres.
Ensure we have the appropriate child to carer and social worker ratios for care, case-management and permanency planning purposes.
Implement National Minimum Standards (if these do not exist, the UN Guidelines on Alternative Care) in our residential care facility, with priority given to implementing standards concerning child protection.
Develop and implement a Project Strategy with the aims of keeping children in family by:
Family Strengthening Projects; and/or
Kinship Placements; and/or
Foster Placements; and/or
Community Development Projects
If you are supporting an orphanage or other form of residential care that is not part of ACCIR's Kinnected program, in light of the information on this website, we encourage you to take the time to ensure the program you are supporting is operating lawfully and according to good practice that protects children's rights, including their right to be raised in a family.
The Orphanage Checklist and Due Diligence Guidelines are tools that have been developed to assist donors conduct due diligence checks on programs that they are currently or considering supporting. They are a starting point to help you understand how the orphanage is being run and how well aligned it is with best practice.
It may be difficult for you to interpret some of the answers given to you, so we suggest you make a note of them so you can check them against government standards and policies often available online or come and talk to ACCI staff about them.
If your due diligence checks confirm that the project you are supporting is ethical, legal, of high standard and is functioning as a last resort and temporary care facility, then it is a worthwhile project to support. If, however, due diligence checks raise concerns or problems, you should attempt to have conversations with the orphanage directors about alternative care, child rights and coming into line with their National or UN Alternative Care Guidelines. If they are unwilling to embrace changes to meet standards, laws and align with the alternative care continuum, then you need to re-evaluate your support. We recommend that if you decide to stop supporting a project, you give them due notice to ensure the children are not placed at greater risk of neglect or exploitation.
By doing this you use your powerful voice as a donor to send a clear message- that donors will support residential care that is working according to, or strategically transitioning into, good practice. And conversely, that residential care which does not meet good practice and is not actively and strategically transitioning is no longer accepted by donors.