Research indicates that many childcare institutions are seen not actually as 'care' institutions, but rather as tools to address the impact of poverty on families.  That is, social welfare interventions towards children continue to place residential care as the primary option rather than the last resort in ensuring children's access to basic services.  The dynamics of this paradigm are very complex.  We believe it is important to address this by enabling families to retain responsibility and provide access to education and other important programs to ensure a better future for their children.

The Indonesian government, no doubt, must bear the responsibility of directing support services to families and to encourage family-based care; and these must be assigned a very high priority.

International law has established a number of fundamental principles in relation to children's rights, their care and protection.  The UN convention on the rights of the child, ratified by Indonesia in 1990, reaffirms the crucial role that the family plays as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment.

Key Imperatives

From the research above, we derive several key imperatives:

  1. Quality standards for child care need to be developed, disseminated, trained, and implemented.
  2. Standards of care should be clearly measurable and assessed periodically.
  3. Our programs must be structured so as to encourage and facilitate family contact and family re-integration as soon as this is in the best interests of the child.
  4. It must be verified that childcare institutions do, in fact, care for their children.
  5. Rather than merely meeting basic needs, the institutions should target promoting the child's right to grow, live and develop fully as social and emotional individual.

"Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community, Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding"   (Preamble of the Convention on the Rights of the Child)

Impact Analysis

In May 2013, we asked Shujog (www.shujog.org) to conduct an impact analysis of ReAct against our key objectives - a summary can be read below, and the full report is available here.

ReAct aims to act as a catalyst and positively impact the lives of young people, their families and communities in Indonesia, by providing training and mentoring to caregivers and social workers in childcare institutions such as orphanages. In doing so, it creates impact for three categories of stakeholders: children, caregivers and parents.

ReAct’s primary impact is created through training and mentoring caregivers . This helps care givers build confidence and skills to provide better care to institutionalized children. Children that receive better care are also more likely to return to their families. ReAct thus also aims to reduce the number of children in institutional care in Indonesia.

ReAct presents a highly efficient impact proposition for its target beneficiaries – children in institutionalized care, their parents, and caregivers/social workers. Shujog estimates that every dollar spent on ReAct’s activities in 2012 created $6.1 of social return. As indicated in the analysis of ReAct’s effectiveness, almost 90 percent of the social return comes from increases in the quality of life of the children, who may subsequently be reunited with their families. The efficiency of ReAct’s impact proposition is projected to grow over time – increasing the impact on ReAct’s target beneficiaries for each dollar spent on it training services for the Indonesian caregiver. Over the course of the next three years of operations, Shujog projects the social return on investment to increase to $11.5 for every dollar spent. The breakdown of impact creation is projected to remains near constant, while the efficiency of impact increases. This is achieved as ReAct achieves scale and drives down the cost of training care givers over time. SROI projections are based on ReAct’s growth scenario and financial model, supplemented by data measuring impact on beneficiaries for three years after undertaking the ReAct training.