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Children at the Centre: A Guide to Community Groups Caring for Vulnerable Children

Author (s): 
Sian, L (Ed.)
Publication details: 
London, Save the Children, 2007
First Report Series

This guide is primarily written for those within supporting organisations already working with, or wishing to promote the establishment of, community groups to care for and protect vulnerable children. It highlights the role of supporting organisations in assisting communities to take action with children. Together, they can be empowered to demand services in the best interests of each child and ensure that the appropriate groups, including government, provide these services.

This guide is not a ‘how to’ manual. Rather, it draws together experiences from children, from community group members (both adults and children) and from staff of supporting organisations. These experiences and reflections will provide suggestions that can be adapted to different contexts to deliver quality and long-term care for children. The text is interspersed with specific examples of community groups working in different countries.

The guide identifies key actions that a supporting organisation should consider to enable community groups to: • work with children as partners – listen to girls and boys of all ages and find out their needs and hopes, understand the challenges they face, and identify and prioritise strategies to address these challenges ensure that all group activities protect children from harm • be transparent and accountable to children, and other members of the community • make realistic and manageable plans that will benefit children • make the best use of resources that already exist within the group and the local community, and successfully access additional resources when necessary • see what they are achieving for children and what is not working well, and discuss how to improve the work and • advocate for changes within the community and with others at local and higher level so that children’s rights are realised.