Claudia Cabral

Ashoka Fellow
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Claudia Cabral was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Claudia builds networks of care for children and adolescents who leave their homes due to domestic violence or other circumstances. By connecting existing extended family members and community resources to each individual child suffering from human rights violation, Claudia fills the gaps, encouraging extended and foster families to become responsible for the child. Engaging the families themselves in creating these solutions is the first step in Claudia’s objective: Re-integrating children back into their families and communities. In cases where children must be temporarily separated from their families Claudia promotes an alternative that is still based on the family unit: the foster family.  She also works to improve shelter care for children with no other options. 
By focusing on the family as the basic unit of action, Claudia promotes systematic change at different levels: Using the families as the primary agents of change; supporting families to raise their children by connecting them to a network of services; training professionals in the field to focus their efforts on family reunification and creating political and legal patterns that encourage children and adolescents to stay permanently at home. 
Claudia is spreading her methodology by training social and government workers throughout the country. She is also working to shift political and legal structures to prioritize the family in child support programs, evidenced by the fact that these methods have become public policy in Rio de Janeiro and some other cities. She is replicating her idea across Brazil and Latin America. 
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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