All Children have the right to grow up in a supportive and caring family environment.
Whenever possible, children should be cared for by their parents and families. Sometimes
children may face a risk of separation from their families due to several factors. This does not mean parents do not or cannot care for their children in the short-term or long-term. Some parents need additional support to care of their children.
Strengthening at-risk or vulnerable families is the first line of defence against their breakdown. Its primary purpose is to prevent the separation of children from their biological parents. This is a pivotal intervention as many children in difficult circumstances and institutional care belong to families with poor access to social security measures. Furthermore, family strengthening plays an equally important role for children in family-based alternative care, such as kinship care, foster care, or other customary practices across cultures. Family strengthening is also a sustainable and long-term measure that allows for deinstitutionalisation. Family strengthening and its allied support interventions must consist of comprehensive legislation, policies and programmes to empower the family to provide quality care to children within the community. When implemented effectively, family strengthening forms a complete safety net around children and caregivers to avoid their neglect, abuse, separation or institutionalisation.