The ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) demands that those participating nations, adopt the aims of the convention as state responsibilities toward their child citizens. The central premise of the convention is clear: that it is the right of all children to develop to their full potential. The authors propose six basic interdependent developmental requirements if the child is to reach ‘full potential’. Without prioritising any one need, but instead concentrating on the facilitation of complete care of the child, the paper aims to examine how the UNCRC may finally be realised. This is achieved by highlighting several key situations and associated factors, which contribute to deficient care. Whilst the factors leading to the creation of such situations are often culturally specific, the consequences for the child, and the implications for care providers (parents, aid agencies, and policy makers), are often very similar within and between continents.