The Alternative Care Unit (ACU) was set up in July 2018 and
is responsible for the rehabilitation aspect of children placed in
Residential Care Institutions (RCIs)/ shelters under court order, Foster
Care System and the Child Mentoring Programme.
The Mission Statement and Objectives of the ACU:
design and implement policies and programmes geared towards protecting
the rights of children victims of violence and rehabilitating them with a
view to providing continuum of care in Shelters/RCIs, as well
as providing substitute family/alternative care, through the Foster Care Programme and assisting those with mild behavioral problems under Child Mentoring Programme.
The following programmes are being implemented at the level of ACU;
Therefore, the following sections fall under the ACU;
· REHABILITATION SECTION (RCIS/SHELTERS)
· FOSTER CARE SECTION
· CHILD MENTORING SECTION
· REPORTING ON HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS SECTION
A Back-to-Home Section has been set up in November 2018 to reintegrate children placed in shelters/Residential Care Institutions (RCIs) into their families/next to kin and foster families.
Contact Details of ACU services:
Projects and Programmes implemented by ACU
A. Rehabilitation Programmes catering for (Residential Care Institutions (RCIs)/Shelters)
The Rehabilitation Section caters for the Rehabilitation of
Children victims of violence placed in RCIs and their reinsertion into
their families/next to kins. These institutions are Charitable
Institutions/Non-Governmental Organisations which work in collaboration
with the Ministry. The ACU has a mandate to ensure that the institutions
are operating within norms and minimum standards for a place of safety
and that rehabilitation is undertaken between both the children and
their parents with a view to returning them to their family environment. Presently, the Ministry is working with 15 Residential Care Institutions run by NGOs and has 3 Government-owned Centres (Shelters).
The Section comprises of the following:
The Services provided by the Rehabilitation Section comprises of:
1. Service de Proximite' to ensure parental visits
Twelve (12) Community Centres & Social Welfare Centres around the island are being used to conduct parental visits to establish bonding of children placed in RCIs with biological families for reinsertion purpose.
2. Prise en Charge of Children Victims of violence placed in Shelters/RCI's under Court Orders- The Ministry accommodates children's victims of violence in 3 Government-owned shelters and 15 RCI's managed by NGO's. 3. Regulations for RCIs-
October 2019, the Child Protection Act “Place of Safety for the Welfare and Protection of Children" Regulations 2019 was passed to ensure that
the norms and standards of the RCIs are met to provide a better continuum of care. 4. Policy Decision for meeting expenditures of Shelters/RCIs-
per the Government decision the National Corporate Social
Responsibility Foundation (NCSRF) has taken the responsibility to incur
payment of Capital Grant for RCIs against cross-certification of the
ACU. 5. Capitation Grant-The
government offers a Capitation Grant payable to NGOs for the upkeep and
educational needs of children in Residential Institutions. 6. Emergency kit-
emergency kit has been provided at the Rehabilitation Section of ACU
since October 2018 to provide basic essentials to children victims of
abuse at the level of Institution and are admitted in hospitals for
medical screening prior to they being placed in a shelter or RCI. B.Back-to-Home SectionThe
Back-to-Home programme work for the re-insertion of Children Victims of
Violence, placed in the RCIs, into their own family setting. The
programme ensures proper follow-up and provision of psycho-social
support, as well as empowers their parents/relatives to better care for them through referral to services offered by key stakeholders. The Process for the Re-Integration of residents of Institutions within a family setting
the discharge of the Minor, the follow-up with parents through
visits/phone calls is ensured by the Back-to-Home Officers and
Psychologists. Moreover, appropriate referral to relevant stakeholders,
for example referrals to the Ministry of Social Security, National
Solidarity and Reform Institutions, are done for matters of pensions and
other financial aid. Other stakeholders are the National Empowerment
Foundation, the Ministry of Health and Quality of life, the Ministry of
Education, Human Resources and Tertiary Education and Scientific
Research, amongst others.
C. Foster Care Programme
The Foster Care System provides an opportunity to children removed under a Court Order to be
placed in institutions and to evolve in a substitute family environment on a temporary basis. The
role of the foster parents is to give support to the child and help him
to grow physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
Criteria to register as Foster Family
D. Child Mentoring Programme
The Child Mentoring programme was setup in 2009 for children aged between 10 to 16 years with mild behavioral problems
to be appropriately screened and matched with trained adult Mentors for
a one- to- one relationship of emotional reconstruction. Meetings and
activities are held on a regular basis (once a week for 2 hrs) between
the Mentor and the child, to support the latter's need for a caring and
supportive adult in his life.
from the Child Mentoring Programme should be under the care of a
responsible party/ legal guardian or legal next-to-kin, as the latter's
consent is required.
The mentoring sessions are usually conducted at the place of residence of the Minor. In the event that same is not appropriate, Social Welfare Centers, Community Centers and Women Centers are solicited to conduct the Mentoring session.
Aims and Objectives of the Programme:
DOs AND DON’Ts FOR RESIDENTIAL CARE INSTITUTIONS (RCIs)/PLACES OF SAFETY ACCOMODATING CHILDREN
The Manager RCI shall:
The Manager RCI shall not: