The Care Effect
THE CARE EFFECT
We believe that no child should grow up alone and that every child should live in a caring family, with the opportunity simply to be a child
We believe that no child should grow up alone and that every child should live in a caring family, with the opportunity simply to be a child.
When children grow up ‘alone’, without the love and support of a caregiver, they face a greater risk of discrimination, neglect, abuse and abandonment. They are more likely to be deprived of opportunities to learn, mature and develop life skills, and so they find it more difficult to become contributing members of society. If they have their own children, they may be unable to adequately support their children’s development and so the harmful effects may be passed on to the next generation. Wider society also suffers, as a greater strain is placed on welfare and health systems.
The key is quality care. Growing up in a stable and secure family with the support of a caregiver enables children to fulfil their potential. They develop basic life skills such as communication, cooperation, problem-solving and setting personal goals. They also build self-confidence, determination and resilience. Their caregivers ensure they attend school and take advantage of healthcare services. Children are also better able to develop social networks, which can be a source of support in everyday life. Ultimately, they have healthy relationships, find decent jobs and transform their communities for the better.
The investment in care has a multiplying effect, as – generation after generation – children receive enriching care, flourish, and realise their potential. It all starts with ensuring that children have quality care from cradle to career. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s the smart thing to do. Care for children makes the world a better place. That is the Care Effect.
OUR 4 CARE PRINCIPLES
We have a wealth of experience in caring for children, especially children facing difficult family situations. We succeed in doing this because we follow strong principles; these are at the heart of our work for children and young people. Our original four principles – the mother, brothers and sisters, the house and the village – have guided us in our work with SOS families. Our updated care principles are based on this rich experience and have evolved to guide us into the future.
Unique & Respected
Every child has a unique set of talents and strengths. We recognise their potential, listen to their ambitions for the future and offer our support to make them a reality. Knowing the challenges of children and young people, we do not give up on them but guide and accompany them to become independent and contributing members of society.
Caring & Reliable
Children develop best in a close and trusting relationship with an adult who takes the role of a parent. They need someone to be there for them no matter what – accepting them and caring for them. Someone who has the skills to guide each child’s development. We work to ensure that children can experience a reliable relationship with a caregiver based on love, respect and security – whether this is with a mother, a father, another family member or an SOS parent.
Stable & Lasting
Every child belongs to a family and preferably grows up in that family. If children cannot grow up with their family of origin, we support them to bond and form lifelong ties with their alternative family. We make sure that brothers and sisters can remain together. In all cases, we maintain the best possible relationship between the child and the family of origin.
Safe & Supportive
Every child needs safe and supportive spaces, where they can experience a happy childhood and a healthy development. We support families to connect across their community to share experiences and offer one another a helping hand.
OUR CARE SOLUTIONS
Based on our care principles, our SOS Children’s Villages actively promote and support quality care in the following ways.
We offer alternative care
If the family of origin is not the best place for a child to grow up, we offer alternative care. Our core solution is SOS family care for children who require longer term care. We constantly keep improving our work with SOS families and use our experience and competence to explore other relevant care solutions, together with partners. If it is in the best interests of a child to return to the family of origin, we actively support this. We deliver all options at consistently high quality and adapt them to the local context.
We strengthen families
In many cases, the family of origin is still able to offer a loving home to their children, despite challenging circumstances. We support vulnerable families to overcome these challenges and prevent them from breaking down. We do this by strengthening their ability to care for their children, through working directly with families or empowering communities to do so.This also includes kinship care to support children to live with their extended family. In humanitarian emergency situations too, we focus on prevention of family separation and family reunification.
We advocate for quality care
Beyond the children we reach directly through alternative care and family strengthening, we advocate for quality care on local, national and international level. Working with governments, communities and other relevant stakeholders, we promote the delivery of quality care and call for improvements in policy and practice.
Our Care Spirit
When implementing our care solutions, we always work in the spirit of our four values.
We take action
We challenge conventional thinking and practices and innovate our work to remain a true pioneer in child care. In response to the different realities across the globe, we continuously adapt our services to the local context and strive to maximise our impact on each child and their communities.
We keep our promise
We make a long-term commitment to children and young people and ensure that our work is sustainable in the communities where we work. We stand strongly behind our actions and positions for children without adequate parental care and deliver quality services that help them succeed in life.
We believe in each other
We work as one team of co-workers, volunteers, partners and supporters; because we know that joint efforts bring the best results. We believe in each other’s abilities and potential, share our knowledge, and support each other to implement our mission.
We are reliable partners
We are accountable to children and our greatest responsibility is to guarantee the quality of care. Therefore, we ensure high standards as stated in the SOS Care Guarantee. Across the organisation, we work in a spirit of quality, efficiency and transparency in all our actions and in managing our resources.