Why After Care
Family is the best environment to care for children, but unfortunately, there’s a huge number of children who are deprived of this right, there are more than 140 million children around the world who’ve lost one or both of their parents. From them at least 15 million have lost both of their parents according to UNICEF (2015). Most of these children are being raised in Institutional Homes “Orphanages”.
Youth are typically supported and guided by their family in early years through schooling and preparation for independence later in life, institutional homes in Egypt do not play this role at all. They do not do much in terms of preparing the children for independence later in life, and qualifying them for economic empowerment along with their lacking for equal employment opportunities due to receiving lower quality of education all of these factors reduce their chances to properly integrate in the society.
Aftercare should be prepared carefully as early as possible to make a successful transition to independence and to make sure that children are ready and equipped by the needed skills by the age they have to leave the institutional home. Caregivers also play a crucial role in preparing the children to assume self-reliance and to integrate fully in the community, through the acquisition of social and life skills.
The lack of family guidance and support requires ongoing psychological and financial support to youth upon leaving the institutional home till being able to support him/herself.
In 20th of November 2009, United Nations General Assembly endorsed the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, the guidelines governed care of children within institutional homes and the aftercare of orphaned youth upon leaving them.
It’s becoming increasingly important to develop a methodology within institutional homes to rehabilitate and continuously support children for independence, self-reliance and their integration in the society after leaving their homes, especially with the significant increase in the number of children deprived of parental care in the Arab region due to severe poverty, unregistered marriages and armed conflicts.
Thus in the past few years, various Arab countries have taken serious steps to adopt and implement the United Nations guidelines for alternative care for children to ensure that children are properly cared for and youth are successfully integrated in society. However, there’s still a dire need for connected efforts in the region in this area.