Celebrating 15 years of SFAC

2017 marks fifteen years of SFAC as a UK registered charity, but has its roots further back, in 1997, when Mick and Brenda Pease volunteered with a children’s ministry in Sao Paolo, Brazil. From this experience, and from seeing similar conditions in Tajikistan some time later, Mick developed a curiosity and unease about the vast numbers of children in institutional care. As a social worker in the U.K. he was used to alternative ways of managing the care of children in crisis, and was determined to share a vision of safe family-based care whenever and wherever possible. From this, SFAC was born.

Over the years, SFAC has worked in more than 30 countries. In the following pages we will give you a taster of how this works, based on the experience of some of the people involved. But throughout, the vision has remained constant: that children belong in safe families and that solutions tailored to local needs, resources and cultural norms, produce the best long-term outcomes. SFAC does not impose a working model on organisations but works with what they have available and what works in their communities and cultures using core principles of safe care for children.

SFAC is a charity that works for rather than with children.

A guiding principle of SFAC is that to improve the position of children it is vital to work with the powers that be, whoever and wherever they may be. This is why SFAC is a charity that works for rather than with children, training and enabling partner organisations to equip them with the skills, knowledge, and research behind best practice. This work goes across the spectrum from small projects in rural areas in developing countries (e.g. Uganda, Myanmar) to the highest level of government and the judiciary (e.g. Brazil, Kurdistan, Sri Lanka), where SFAC has had input into the setting-up of child protection systems and the legal framework to support them.

The SFAC team has professional skills in child protection social work, foster care and adoption, psychology, and family law. It is also award-winning with two of its team (Dan Hope and Ranjit Uppal) winning awards for best practice in their fields.

Referrals are often by word of mouth and the approach taken is to work with local people at their pace, led by their perception of need but supported by research and professional expertise. The aim is to convert good intentions – often in plentiful supply – into best practice. The examples which follow will give you an idea of what has been achieved by SFAC in the past 15 years, and what can be achieved in greater measure in the future.

SFAC have been pioneers in advocating for family based care, and has been gaining speed as pioneers in offering training on how to implement family based care around the globe. With your support we can continue to gain speed to enable more children to thrive in safe families.

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