The guidelines are built around two core principles, necessity and suitability.
The necessity principle says that children should only be separated from their families when absolutely necessary and when all possible actions have been taken to solve the problems that are putting the children at risk.
If separation is necessary then a family based care option such as kinship care or foster care is much more desirable than institutional care such as a children’s home where many children compete for the love and affection of paid caregivers in contrast to the love and attention that children receive in a loving family.
The suitability principle says that when it is decided that a separation is necessary a child should be placed in a care setting that is appropriate for their individual needs.
Gatekeeping is a word that is used a lot in the guidelines. The gatekeeper is the person or people who make the decision about whether or not it is necessary to remove a child from their family and what type of alternative care is best suited to the child’s situation. The guidelines advise that gatekeepers should be fully qualified and licensed by the state. They should also be fully independent of any care setting that will receive the child.
Do you know of any private children’s homes in Thailand?
India is a vast country. It took the Indian government 6 years to locate and document over 9500 private child care institutions. The Cambodian government completed a comprehensive national survey of private children’s homes some years ago and is now working to reintegrate thousands of children to their families.
The Thai government has not yet committed to locating and documenting all private children’s homes in Thailand (2019). However, it is clear that this work will be essential in order to work towards the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. In order to bring monitoring and regulation of standards of care to these institutions the Thai government will first have to find them all.
With the help of a large team of volunteers using online searching, One Sky Foundation has documented 240 unregistered private children’s homes in Thailand. Through this website we would like to continue building this database so that we can provide it to the Thai government as soon as they are ready.
Some children’s homes assure their supporters that they have registered with the government. However, registration as an NGO or foundation in Thailand does not meet the legal requirements for running a private children’s home. This requires a separate registration with the provincial social services department who should then monitor the standards of care at the home.
Please help us by letting us know of any private children’s homes you know in Thailand. We can quickly check in our database whether we already know about them and we can work together with the government to confirm if they have registered or not. With your help we can accelerate the process to bring safety and regulation for thousands of children living outside of any duty of care in what are often poorly run and unsafe private children’s homes.
If you see or hear about a child in danger please contact:
Thai Government Child Protection hotline