Quality Standards for Alternative Care

Wataneya’s aim is to unify the quality standards in institutional homes ensuring a protected and healthy environment for children and youth without parental care and accordingly enabling them to have an effective  role in the development of their society. 


 Phases of Developing the Quality Standards of Care

First phase: Studying best International practices (2009)

Wataneya Society studied the best international practices in the field of alternative care, and monitored the needs of the institutional homes in Egypt through the facilitation of workshops and meetings with all the stakeholders in the field, to understand the challenges they face and accordingly form realistic insights on the status of the orphanages in Egypt. As a result, Wataneya Society tailored international best practices to suit the requirements of the Egyptian environment and compiled all information in a booklet named" Minimum Quality Standards of Child Care in Institutional homes".


Second phase: Testing and Improving the Quality Standards (2010 – 2011)

Wataneya Society in partnership with seven orphanages, collaborated to apply the developed standards by:
1. Changing the perception of caregivers and founders. 
2. Assessing the orphanage according to the standards
3. Proposing an initial development plan.
4. Developing a participatory plan with the board of directors and staff
5. Supporting the staff through trainings, follow up, and consultations.

Wataneya Society conducted quarterly assessments to measure the improvement of the staff performance and the impact of this improvement on the children and youth.  The Minimum standards handbook  underwent constant tested  filtrations and amendments.

Also, Wataneya Society complemented its field experience with both its partners and non-partner orphanages, and involving the orphaned children and youth, and staff, by developing  a "Strategy to Qualify Calibers"  working in the field. The strategy sets an organisational chart to guarantee the hierarchy of each caliber by setting clear  job descriptions and providing training programs that match the competencies and the responsibilities of each employee.   

Third phase: Issuing the first draft Quality Standards (2012)

Wataneya society organized a round table meeting in 2012 for a number of experts, specialists, international NGO s and orphanages to discuss the first draft of the Quality Standards, to add comments and suggestions to improve the standards and indicators and further tailor the standards for institutional homes in Egypt.

Furthermore, Wataneya held 26 participatory workshops with experts from local and international organizations, and all stakeholders including orphaned youth and care givers, 15 of which evolved around discussions and feedback on of the following topics:

  • Feedback of staff in the institutional homes on the standards.
  • Feedback of orphaned youth.
  • Natural and alternative families.
  • "Protection and Safety" pillar.
  • Policies for youth after leaving orphanages and integration in society.
  • Qualification of caregivers under the "Staff" pillar and challenges that face orphanages and suggested solutions.
  • Standards for selecting the alternative mother.

Also, 11 internal workshops were held to review and amend the six pillars of the standards.

Forth phase: Issuing the second draft of the Quality Standards (2013)

Based on the feedback and comments suggested by the experts and the stakeholders in previous workshops, the technical team in Wataneya continued to apply the quality standards in its partner orphanages through implementing the participatory action plans with the staff and meeting their needs to enable them to apply the standards in accordance of the circumstances of each institutional home.

Wataneya established a comprehensive assessment of previous phases to measure if the quality standards suit the circumstances of institutional homes in Egypt and to evaluate the performance of the participatory action plans, and the impact of the trainings provided by Wataneya in raising the efficiency of the staff, and developing the childcare techniques applied in the orphanages.

Subsequently, Wataneya Society issued the second draft of the Quality Standards for Alternative Care" based on all previous phases, internal and external workshops and meetings, and the practical applications in partner institutions. 

Fifth phase: Unifying the Quality Standards in Egypt (2013)

With Wataneya’s objective in mind to work towards the unification of ‘Quality standards for Alternative care’ for children and youth without parental care, across institutional homes,  it called for  its  application on a National level in partnership with international organisations such as Unicef, Save the children and civil society. 

Accreditation of the Quality Standards for Alternative Care (2014)
In June 2014, a ministerial decree no. 188 was issued, officially mandating the "Quality Standards of Alternative Care" for institutional homes on a national level.