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Every child has the right to parental care and childhood in a family environment. India has a significant number of children living away or at the risk of separation from their families. In the absence of focus on family strengthening and development of a range of appropriate care options, institutional care has become the norm for children without parental care or at risk of separation. An estimated 1.5 million children in India are living in child care institutions. This number does not include children living in residential schools, religious and other institutions that are not registered under the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act 2015.

There is a need to shift focus to strengthening families and communities to ensure care of children in their families and to create a continuum of care services that are family-based. Alternative care services are a critical component of the child protection system, and it is essential to strengthen these services with a primary focus on the best interests of children. India being a large and diverse country, offers several examples of an ongoing and developing body of work in this area. Currently, this information and action is fragmented and deserves to be documented. In 2018, many civil society organisations and individual practitioners came together to discuss learnings and challenges on issues related to the protection and well-being of children in different care settings. They identified the need for a common platform for the exchange of ideas, dialogues, interventions, learnings, knowledge and evidence. It is with that intent that IACN was formed in 2019 with the support of UNICEF India. IACN Secretariat became functional in 2020 and is hosted at Butterflies.

WE ARE A COLLECTIVE DEDICATED TO PROMOTING THE EXCHANGE OF LEARNING AND DISSEMINATION OF KNOWLEDGE ON ISSUES RELATED TO CHILDREN WITHOUT PARENTAL CARE OR AT RISK OF SEPARATION. WITH ONLINE AND OFFLINE INITIATIVES, OUR PURPOSE IS TO STRENGTHEN PRACTICE AND POLICY FOR CHILDREN IN DIFFERENT CARE SETTINGS. THE NETWORK BRINGS TOGETHER A DIVERSE ARRAY OF ACADEMICIANS, PRACTITIONERS AND POLICY ADVOCATES WORKING ON THE WELL-BEING AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN DIFFERENT CARE SETTINGS.

Our mission

Facilitating the exchange of learning, dissemination of knowledge and formation of partnerships on the issues related to children without parental care or at risk of separation.

We are committed to: