DALLAS—Buckner International was awarded a grant for nearly $1 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development Aug. 1 to develop programs in Guatemala that will provide permanent family solutions for orphans and vulnerable children.
The grant provides funding for a Buckner-initiated project called Fostering Hope Guatemala. The two-year project’s goals include deinstitutionalizing 103 young children, creating a permanency team of experts to manage children’s cases, training and equipping the Guatemalan government to develop foster care and kinship care programs and developing a system to manage and track data on children and foster families.
“The ideas of foster care and formal kinship care are fairly new concepts in most places in the world,” said Randy Daniels, Buckner Vice President of International Resource and Program Development. “Guatemala is no exception. The current option in Guatemala for a child is, regardless of age, to be placed in institutional care. This grant provides the financial resources to move forward with a foster care and kinship care model that is based on best practices supported by research.”
Daniels said education will be an important component of the effort. “Buckner will be hosting seminars to train the highest government officials on the issues surrounding institutionalization of children and the benefits of family-based care. Buckner will also work with the government to develop a curriculum for training social workers and other professionals involved in all aspects of child placement.”
This award supports USAID’s investments in the newly signed ACTION PLAN FOR CHILDREN in ADVERSITY, the first whole-of-government strategic guidance on international assistance for children in adversity. The Action Plan has three principal objectives:
- Build Strong Beginnings: Increasing the percentage of children surviving and reaching full developmental potential.
- Put Family Care First: Reducing the percentage of children living outside of family care.
- Protect Children: Reducing the percentage of girls and boys exposed to violence and exploitation.
The Fostering Hope Guatemala award supports Objective 2, in efforts to reduce the percentage of children living outside of family care.
Buckner International is a global faith-based organization dedicated to transforming the lives of orphans, vulnerable children, families and elders in the United States and around the world. Founded in 1879 in Dallas, Texas, today Buckner serves more than half a million people in 18 countries worldwide through a variety of programs designed to protect children and build strong families.
Scott Collins 214-507-5834 (cell)