The content and forms in this Manual may be downloaded but only used for non-commercial purposes, namely, for research, study, review and internal circulation within an organization for the purpose of application in ongoing work related to community placement and case management. Copying for non-commercial purposes is subject to the material being accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, reproduced accurately, and not being used in a misleading context.


Material contained in this Manual has been prepared by Persatuan Kebajikan Suara Kanak-kanak Malaysia (SUKA) or SUKA Society for informational purposes and is based on current organizational practices and country climate. SUKA Society does not represent or warrant that the content of this Manual is suitable for your needs. You should assess whether the information is accurate, authentic or complete and where appropriate, seek independent professional advice accordingly. SUKA Society may amend or withdraw material in this Manual at any time without notice. For further information, please write to .

This Manual was put together by drawing from the policies, procedures and guidelines that we developed over the years for our on-going Community Placement and Case Management (CPCM) Programme for unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) in Malaysia. The Manual was written primarily as a practical and organised guide to help case managers provide effective case management services for UASC under their care.

In using this Manual, it is important to note that the type of population we work with has, to a certain extent, shaped the approach of this Manual. Firstly, as an organisation that actively advocates for alternative to detention measures in Malaysia, our Programme focuses on, and prioritises UASC who are at risk of immigration detention as they are regarded as vulnerable persons within the irregular migrant, refugee, asylum seeking and stateless populations. Most UASC in our Programme are between the ages of 15 – 18 years, are living in urban communities, and come from countries with turbulent histories, such as Myanmar, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Secondly, our approach in implementing the programme is also with the aim of working closely with the communities where most UASC come from, and to draw from the strengths of these communities in providing protection and care for these children. Therefore, our Programme emphasises community placements by engaging suitable caregivers from the community to provide needed care and protection for the children. We also engage leaders from the community who play the crucial roles of community case managers and interpreters in our Programme.

As Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, we acknowledge that most of the communities we work with are irregular migrants, refugees and stateless communities and generally do not have the support systems and structures in place for them to adequately cope with the daily challenges of living in Malaysia, let alone reach acceptable living standards.

As such, to successfully implement a community placement programme, it is strongly recommended that the organisation planning to implement the programme should take the position and view that every community can meet the expectations and standards of the roles and tasks given to them within the programme if given the necessary tools, resources, time and opportunities.

It is also important to provide adequate resources, guidance and supervision to help those engaged within the community to adopt the programme standards which may probably be above the level of the current cultural practices or skill sets within the community. Opportunities should be provided for the community to eventually meet all the expectations of the role entrusted them, especially as cultural practices require time for change.

We believe that by adopting this position, the expectation is that organisations which are engaged in this area of work should be willing to invest sufficient resources over a reasonable period of time to assist and support the community as the changes take place.

The production of this Manual would not be possible without the valuable contributions of the following organisations and individuals:

  • The Asia Pacific Regional Coordinators of the International Detention Coalition, who have provided technical support for the development of the CPCM Programme and the Manual.

  • Mr. Ng Chak Ngeng, a former program director of the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program of the Lutheran Community Services Northwest in Seattle, Washington, for his tireless advice, support and guidance in developing the CPCM programme and in reviewing this Manual.

  • Reviewers, designers and proof-readers of the Manual.

  • SUKA Society’s Case Managers, both past and present, who have dedicated their time and effort in testing and providing feedback on procedures and tools included in this Manual. This has helped us to develop and adapt the processes and tools to ensure effective applicability on the field.

  • The foster families participating in SUKA Society’s Programme who continually encourage us to provide better support for foster families who have opened their homes to provide safer placement for UASC.

  • The unaccompanied and separated children in SUKA Society’s Programme who inspired us to embark on this project to implement a programme that provides better care and protection for UASC in Malaysia. We are grateful for all the UASC who have journeyed with us and those who continue to journey with us in developing the Programme.

An important core value of SUKA Society is that all tools and resources developed by SUKA Society are to be shared and can be used by any individual or organisation also providing protection and care for children in their community. However, the policies, procedures and guidelines in the Manual should be contextualised and adapted to fit your own organisation’s framework, population of concern and country context. This Manual will also be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to remain relevant and adapt to the changing legal and socio-political climate of the country.

We hope that this Community Placement and Case Management Manual, and the Toolkit that will accompany this Manual will be a useful resource for any organisation interested in developing a similar community placement and case management programme. Do visit our website at www.sukasociety.org for further resources, or if you wish to contact us for further information.

SUKA Society