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Lumos partners with UBS Optimus Foundation, launching campaign to transform the care of children


Lumos partners with UBS Optimus Foundation, launching campaign to transform the care of children

We are so grateful to the UBS Optimus Foundation for their partnership and support as we prepare to launch our ambitious campaign to raise awareness amongst philanthropists of the harms of institutions and seek to sustainably redirect funding to family and community-based services, so that children can grow up in families where they belong.

There are global commitments to care reform to keep families together, such as the Convention on the Right of the Child and the Alternative Care Guidelines, however, major barriers exist to implementation. One of the biggest is the millions of pounds in private funding that flows into institutional care. It will not be possible to end the institutionalisation of children until these funds are redirected towards family and community-based services to keep families together.

Individual philanthropists are often unaware of the alternatives to institutional care and the benefits of changing their funding model. Decades of research shows that living in institutions damages children’s physical, psychological and emotional development, significantly impacting their health, well-being and life-chances. It also exposes them to a heightened risk of abuse and neglect. Every child deserves the opportunity to grow and thrive within a loving family, supported by community-based services that meet their needs.

The Redirecting Funding campaign seeks to create a movement for change, redirecting existing funding and mobilising new funding to catalyse global care reform. Central to the campaign is the voice of children, young people and families with lived experience. Working together, we will change the landscape of care reform globally so that more children can grow up in loving families, giving them the best start in life.

We are so grateful for the support of the UBS Optimus Foundation for this campaign, and for our wider work including a Global Thematic Review, developing our understanding and connection within the education sector to influence meaningful change; and for our emergency response in Ukraine, reducing the risk of family separation in the context of the current conflict and working to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable children and families.

Sarah Veilex, UBS Child Protection Program Director, says:

“Safe, loving families are at the core of child protection and development strategies. Because not only do they safeguard children, but loving families are what children need to thrive. But sometimes families find themselves overwhelmed by circumstances and need support, or a child needs to be moved to another family. When institutional care dominates a child-care system, these events are not adequately provided for, and children all too often miss out on what they need – that safe, loving family. Lumos’ call to the philanthropic community to put their funding where it will benefit children the most, into family-based care, is a great initiative to re-balance care systems to truly serve the best interest of the child.”