The Kurdish region has a long history of caring for and looking after orphaned children. In 1979 social care homes were established in the Kurdish region with the assistance of Save the Children UK and Kurdistan Save the Children (KSC). The Ministry of Social Affairs took over the running of these homes during the early years of 2000.
In many countries in the developed world alternative child care provision working alongside residential care has been in existence for many years. In recent years there is an increased awareness in developing countries for the need to move from institutional care to family based care. It is developing across different cultures and has been influenced, informed and underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
STEP is working in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to develop, monitor and assess the success of a foster care system in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. It is partnering with another UK charity, SFAC (Substitute Families for Abandoned Children to help achieve a successful system.
Having worked in the Kurdish region for the past decade, STEP understands the desire of the KRG to bring Kurdish law, policy, and practice, in line with international standards. Immense progress has been made over the last few years and STEP in consultation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs feels that this is the time to improve child care services in the region.