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June 2009Vol. 10, No. 5Manual for Indicators Works Globally and Locally

The Better Care Network and UNESCO have collaborated to produce the Manual for the Measurement of Indicators for Children in Formal Care to introduce a set of common indicators for children in institutional or foster care in any country. Noting the lack of statistics on the numbers and circumstances of children in care around the world, the manual's authors argue for the need for better data in order for countries and jurisdictions to improve children's outcomes.

Fifteen indicators are proposed, including 12 quantitative indicators that require the collection of statistical information (e.g., number of children in care, number of children adopted) and 3 policy indicators that require the collection of information about child welfare laws, policies, and practices. Chapters also provide suggestions on how to map a child welfare system, as well as tools for collecting data.

The data and information generated by these indicators can be used to:

  • Monitor policy and practice improvements
  • Help governments, child welfare agencies, and child advocates identify children's needs
  • Give policymakers and managers information to guide program development and budgeting
  • Support advocacy to improve systems and services
  • Increase the visibility and status of those engaged in providing formal care

Access the manual on the Better Care Network website: