Collectivizing Care Leavers
 

Speakers

Speakers

Chathuri Jayasooriya is a child rights advocate and psychosocial practitioner with a special focus on alternative care of children.  She has been working in the field of child rights and wellbeing for 12 years, especially on child rights governance and psychosocial wellbeing. Her work primarily involves advocacy, networking, research, training and the provision of psychosocial support especially for children in residential care and family strengthening support to prevent child-family separation. She was instrumental in forming the 18+ Alliance of civil society and private sector agencies to build support systems for youth leaving care in Sri Lanka as well as the Generation Never Give-up (GNG) Network of care leavers, during her tenure with SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka. She currently works with SOS Children’s Villages International as the Advocacy Advisor-Asia, working with 11 countries in Asia to advocate for the provision of quality care for children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care.
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Dr. Wolfgang Schröer is a Professor at the Institute of Social Pedagogy and Organisation Studies, University of Hildesheim. His main research fields are: child and youth welfare, residential and foster care, care leaving, youth research and transitions to adulthood, transnational social exchange and support. He is the chairman of the consulting group in children and youth task for the German government.
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Dr. Kiran Modi is the founder managing Trustee of Udayan Care. She founded Udayan Care, in Delhi, India, in 1994, with the vision of ‘Making Young Lives Shine’, which runs group homes for orphaned and at-risk children, amongst many of its projects. With a doctorate in American Literature from IIT, Delhi, Dr. Modi is a person of varied experiences in diverse fields, such as child protection, media, health and children’s theatre. Besides running programmes for Alternative Care of ‘Out of Home Care’ children, education and Livelihood programmes for disadvantaged girls and youth, she is keenly interested in raising standards of care in Alternative Care, and has been organising trainings and research, and publishing papers on Child & Youth Care. She is Founder Editor of an international bi-annual journal on Alternative Care: ‘Institutionalised Children: Explorations and Beyond’ (ICEB). Besides her management responsibilities, she is a Mentor Mother to many children and youth, gicing them personalised care and attention. Recipient of many prestigious awards, Dr. Modi continues to strive towards ensuring the rights of the underprivileged children and youth with the same passion and zeal as when she started out more than two and a half decades ago.
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Ruth Wacuka is a care reform advocate with a focus on de-institutionalization, promoting positive mental health and ending voluntourism. She is a member of Kenya Society of Care Leavers. Ruth is trained in journalism and mass communications and uses her skills to advocate for the rights of children, inspired by her upbringing in residential care in Nairobi. Ruth is also a One Young World Social Justice Ambassador, a global community of young leaders across 196 countries each pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals.
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Mark Riley , MSc, Alternative Care Consultant, Hope and Homes for Children, is an international child protection and international development consultant. Mark has been living in East Africa since 2010 working on child welfare reforms in Africa and more recently in Asia. He has worked with a wide range of actors including government ministries, foreign embassies, international organisations and private foundations. Mark’s work is focused on systems strengthening and child protection, with particular emphasis on de-institutionalisation and alternative family based care for children. Mark authored the Uganda National Alternative Care Framework, the Child Policy for Uganda and undertook the 2012 study on institutional care in Uganda which prompted a significant emphasis and investment to address the high levels of children in institutional care in Uganda. More recently, Mark has been advising on alternative care and deinstitutionalization programs in the region and globally. Since July 2016 Mark has been working for HHC supporting CINI in Jharkhand, India. The project in Jharkhand is demonstrating that robust and integrated ‘gatekeeping’ at community strengthens families and prevents unnecessary separation. Additionally the project is supporting a number of Child Care Institutions (CCI’s) in Jharkhand to develop community based and family based care services and transition away from residential care. In addition to Mark’s work on care reform he helped establish a Uganda Care Leavers Network (Ugandan Care Leavers) to support children and young adults coming out of institutional care. The research carried out with Ugandan Care Leavers is documented in the report ‘The Uganda Care Leaver Experience (2019)’. Before moving to East Africa in 2010, Mark worked for over 15 years working with the Welsh Assembly Government delivering both public and private consultancy and project management programs.
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…..more to be uploaded soon.