Thailand Government Childrens Homes
These homes are under the Department of Children and Youth. There are 30 government children’s homes in Thailand. Most are large with over 100 children. Some are only for boys or girls and some are for both.
All of Thailand’s government children’s homes are also registered as foundations allowing them to raise funds privately, giving them a degree of autonomy.
The management style of the homes varies, for example on their websites some of the homes encourage volunteers with no mention of background checks whereas others are much more careful and set clear expectations and rules about volunteering.
Registered Private Childrens Homes
The Thailand Child Protection Act 2003 requires anyone providing a home to more than 6 children (who are not their own children) to register with the provincial social services as a children’s home.
In 2015 The Department of Children and Youth (DCY) reported 137 registered private children’s homes to UNICEF for their report “Review of Alternative Care in Thailand”.
After obtaining additional information, the DCY is currently communicating with all provincial social service departments to update this number, which is likely to be significantly higher.
Unregistered Private Childrens Homes
These are children’s homes run by private individuals who have chosen not to register with the government. Some are registered as NGO’s in Thailand. However this does not meet the requirements of the Thailand Child Protection Act 2003 which says that they must register as a children’s home if they have more than 6 children. The law states that failure to do so should result in a fine or imprisonment.
Research by One Sky Foundation documented 240 unregistered private children’s homes through online searching and cross checking with DCY’s list of registered homes. This research only found homes that have an online presence and attempted to match them to the Department of Children and Youth database. One Sky Foundation estimates the total number of unregistered children’s homes to be more than 600.
The 2003 Child Protection Act catagorises different types of children home depending on their specific aims. The full act is available below in both English and Thai.