Indonesia7-Assessment 2

Separated Children – Case Study 4: Reunification

1. Necessary preparation for the family and the children for reunification to take place successfully:
- In the case of Jean Claude, family members (brothers and sisters) and their immediate family (aunt) should be interviewed and asked whether they wish to reunite and they will care for the child. If so, plan on when and how the reunification will take place should be made
- To verify the willingness and the ability of the family to care for the child as well as to verify that claim was not made based on incentives or material gains; home visits might be needed
- Although Jean Claude and his family are prepared to care for their little brother, their capacity may be compromised by the fact that the aunt is very sick and has to take care of her five nieces and nephews. In this case, methods of obtaining assistance should be explored in order to prevent secondary separation
- When the above points have been assessed, ask for information that only family members and child would now (nick names, name of pets, or favourite game and songs)
- Since the family was separated during conflict and possibly did not have legal documents handy, it is necessary to document verification method or to use form for record in case the claim is contested in the future.
2. Key elements that should be included in the real reunification:
- Main issue for Jean Claude’s family is how to support and helping them to secure access to basic services (such as health, education, and any relief items and entitlements) and protection care. Support through cash for work could be difficult since most of the children are under working age and their aunt is very ill.
- We also need to ensure that the children get access to child-friendly space run by community volunteers that provide education and psychosocial activities.
- As the youngest child who has been separated from his family for several weeks, Pascal might have experienced abuse and exploitation; this will need to be further assessed through psychosocial activities mentioned above. It is also important to remember children who are traumatized by conflicts may have long-term problem without appropriate care and support.
- Community might need also to identify a caretaker for Jean Claude’s family (until they can be reunited with their parents) since the only immediate family care taker is very ill and may not be able to support the five children.
- The adult care taker will be need to ensure food assistance and health programme for this family, especially for the two young children under five who need special food and care. If the children do not have direct access to food and necessary service they may be exploited as forced labourers, sexual objects or may be forced to join armed groups.

3. Follow up required for the children and their family:
- Follow up visits should be conducted to check that children have settled back in happily with their family. This can also be done by local community based or government organisation.
- In addition to home visits, observation should also be done by interviewing neighbours as well as family members.
- As Jean Claude’s aunt will definitely needs support to keep the family together, strategy to ensure that reunification is lasting should be done as part of programming.
- To linkage the Jean Claude family’s with social support in community for longer term support in future and provide temporary assistance in economic- empowerment programme for the family until they can support themselves.

In all process mentioned above, it is important that the child’s best interest is taken into account and fully respected by all actors involved in reunification process. Child’s wishes, opinions and best interest at every stage of the decision-making and programming process should always be taken into consideration.