White heartHarms of Institutionalization

  • Inability to trust or form lasting relationships (attachment disorders)
  • Feeling unwanted, insecure, rejected (emotional abandonment)
  • Psychological trauma
  • Lower levels of brain activity, especially in those admitted at an early age
  • Loss of identification with a child’s own people and culture
  • Aggressive behaviour problems
  • Inability to learn or focus on schoolwork
  • Lack of self-regulation (hyperactivity)
  • Significantly lower IQs
  • Possible abuse between children and from staff
  • Hyper-vulnerability after child leaves institution at age 18
  • Stigma attached to being an 'orphan' in an orphanage

Heart BadgeLong-Term Outcomes

  • Lack of basic life skills needed to thrive in community
  • Unemployment
  • Homelessness
  • Involvement in prostitution
  • Involvement in criminal activity
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Stigma attached to care-leavers

A Global Shift in Thinking

Orphanages worldwide are closing their doors as governments
begin to recognize the potential harm of institutional care.

Find Out More

White heartLeading Causes of Institutionalization

  • Poverty or financial hardship
  • Parental perception that child will be better off in care
  • Lack of health care
  • Distance from schools or inability to enroll
  • Religious beliefs in cases of illegitimate pregnancies
  • Drought and famine
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Government referral
  • Orphanage recruitment of children in poor communities
  • Lack of daycare for preschool-aged children
  • Lack of social services

Heart BadgeProtective Factors

  • Family strengthening programs
  • Training on child needs and parenting skills
  • Community-based education on the critical importance of family for a child
  • Daycare empowering parents to earn income during the day
  • School empowerment through enrolment and transportation assistance
  • Vocational training
  • Job resourcing and micro-loans
  • Family and individual counselling services
  • Asset-based community development
Call To Action

Children deserve strong, healthy families.

How can you be part of the solution?

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