The information below is simply for reference.


Keeping Our Promises: A Loving Home For Every Child
An International Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada
May 16 – 20, 2021


This will be a content driven conference analyzing and learning from expert practitioners and stakeholders working in the forefront of the foster/alternative care field from around the world. We have identified the following sub-themes emerging from the UN Guidelines that will frame the 2021 Conference:


A two pronged approach.

1. The work of SOS Children’s Villages International over 70 years in 136 countries will be showcased through papers, reports, and presentations. SOS International has endorsed the Conference and representatives from the 7 geographic regions around the world will attend. The conference will continue SOS’s advocacy work for children and youth with the UN and the EU.

2. Recognized “thought” leaders on alternative care strategies (outside the SOS world) will be invited to present ensuring a balanced discussion of the issues. SOS Children’s Village BC will be working with the International Foster Care Organization (IFCO) and additional strategic players such as the Better Care Network to ensure we reach an international audience getting the right people providing greater learning and impact.


An International Conference focusing on critical issues in the foster care/alternative care field in Canada and other countries.

An International Conference to showcase the amazing work of service providers such as SOS Children’s Villages International on behalf of children and youth at risk.

An International Conference to improve networking, cooperation, and collaboration between and among stakeholders working in foster care/alternative care in Canada and across the globe.

An International Conference to transform the way children and youth at risk are being cared for in British Columbia specifically, but with impact on other nations and their policies.

An International Conference that includes practitioners, academics, Government officials at all levels, Indigenous peoples, international organizations, youth, and caregivers.


When children grow up “alone”, without the love and support of a parent or another stable caregiver, they face a greater risk of discrimination, neglect, abuse, and abandonment. They are more likely to be deprived of opportunities to learn, mature and develop life skills, and so they find it more difficult to become contributing members of society.


SOS Children’s Villages played a leading role in the development of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children through co-founding an international working group. Since the welcoming of the Guidelines in 2009 by the UN General Assembly, member associations across the globe have been at the forefront of bringing the Guidelines to life on the country level. Internationally, SOS Children’s Villages has been actively engaged in partnership initiatives to promote their implementation.


A formal call for papers will be issued towards the end of 2019 which will provide all relevant details.

This is an early notice that a call for papers is in process. We will invite submissions for potential presentation at the Conference from a broad range of topics related to our thematic areas:

• Alternative Care
• Family Strengthening
• Advocacy & Partnership for Quality Care
• Cross-Cutting: Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Strands may include empirical or theoretical scholarship as well as research methodology evaluation, meta-analyses, critical literature reviews, and topics related to applied practice – including action research – that are grounded in scholarship.


If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity for the Conference please contact the Conference Facilitator. As we get closer to the Conference additional information and calls will be sent out. Send your contact details and you will receive updates.

Beautiful British Columbia welcomes all conference participants.

Vancouver is the city and the University of British Columbia is the venue.


SOS Children’s Village BC
302 – 14225 57th Avenue
Surrey, BC V3X 0H6 | (604) 574-2964

Douglas Dunn
Executive Director

Steve Bowler
Conference Facilitator