Alternative Family Care

Manual for staff working with reception families and unaccompanied children living in reception families


Author:  Marjan Schippers, Peter van de Pol and Liedewij de Ruijter de Wildt (Nidos) Kerstin Thys (Minor-Ndako) Marie Krogshøj Larsen (Danish Red Cross) Zima Massoumi (Jugendhilfe Süd-Niedersachsen Martin Rozumek (Organization for Aid to Refugees) Publisher:  Nidos Maliebaan 99 3581 CH Utrecht The Netherlands Publication type:  Toolkit / Handbook / Manual

The ALFACA Manual to Alternative Family Care for Unaccompanied Migrant Children presents the well-established comprehensive model for dealing with cases and care of unaccompanied migrant children developed by the Dutch nongovernmental organization Nidos. The model is based on Nidos' 20-year practice of providing services for unaccompanied migrant children, which puts them among the most experienced in the world. Over the last 5 years, the model has been tested and applied successfully in over 15 other countries in Europe.

The manual focuses primarily on professionals working directly with foster carers and unaccompanied migrant children accommodated in foster care, but would benefit all child care professionals, psychologists, social workers, reception center staff and residents services for children, as well as the guardians of migrant children.

The presented approach is that of supporting unaccompanied migrant children with a focus on their special needs and the life situation they are in (Module 1), as well as specific information on alternative family care for such children: selection, screening and matching procedures for children and foster parents and foster care monitoring (Module 2). The most important tools are available in the appendices.

The document is available in 11 languages on the link below. There you can also find additional information on the alternative family care model, thematic literature and other useful tools.

The ALFACA Manual has now been translated in Bulgarian language as well! The translation and adaptation of the Manual was s part of the project "Development of foster care for unaccompanied children in Europe" (PROFUCE), on which the Childhub partner Know-How Center for Alternative Care for Children works in partnership with Dutch colleagues and another 5 organizations from Italy, Greece and Bulgaria. More information about the project can be found here:

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This project is funded by: