Project Description

Gatekeeping Practices

In Ecuador, there are 4.3 million children. According to CNII (2018), 4 out of every 10 children has suffered extreme maltreatment. 2495 children and adolescents are institutionalized. The majority of them have entered institutional care due to maltreatment (28,8%) and negligence (34%), reasons that deserve other child protection measures, such as family support.

These children and adolescents arrived at the institutional foster because, in the moment of emergency, there weren’t professionals that could realize a needs assessment to analysis what the child, adolescent, and their family really needed. Instead, the police took them directly to institutional care, without having sufficient professional criteria to identify the real necessities of the children.

DCF, in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion, seeks to change this situation. We are one of the few organizations specialized in the process of gatekeeping. This means that when the police or child protection organizations detect an emergency, our team approaches the child, adolescent, and their family to investigate and analyse, along with the family, their necessities. Within 72 hours, we submit our technical criteria to the competent authority so they can dictate a suitable protection measure. These interventions have led to fewer children and adolescents being institutionalized, who continue living with their families, receiving family support.

Temporary Shelter

We offer temporary shelter to adolescents who are at high risk, while gatekeeping practices are being realized to identify their needs. In this way we guarantee that the adolescent remains in a safe and protective environment till other services are activated.