Resources

The Effects of Institutionalization on Children

CHILDREN IN INSTITUTIONS, THE GLOBAL PICTURE

In this document the problem of the ‘orphan myth’ is explored, where people assume these institutions, or ‘orphanages’, are there to support orphans, but a large percentage have a living parent. In addition, the factsheet details the impact of poverty, disability, discrimination, child trafficking, exploitation, abuse and neglect have on the amount of orphans globally. – Produced by Lumos

CHILDREN IN INSTITUTIONS, THE RISKS

Residential institutions for children have many names around the world, including orphanages, children’s home and baby home. Certain institutions have the potential to cause health risks to brain development and increase the chances of neglect, abuse and exploitation and risk to long-term life chances. In this factsheet, Lumos details all possible risks and damage of institutionalization and the solution to the problem.

KEEPING CHILDREN OUT OF HARMFUL INSTITUTIONS – SAVE THE CHILDREN

One of the biggest myths is that children in orphanages are there because they have no parents. This is not the case. Most are there because their parents simply can’t afford to feed, clothe and educate them. For governments and donors, placing children in institutions is often seen as the most straightforward solution. This report sheds new light on the use of institutional care for children. It examines the latest evidence of the harm that institutional care can cause to children. It explores why governments and donors continue to prioritise institutional care, despite the harm it can cause. And, finally, it argues for a range of interventions to support children within their own families and communities, and for family and community-based alternatives for those children needing care outside of their own families. This report was co-produced by Save the Children UK and the Save the Children Child Protection Initiative.

HOME COMIC BOOK

Throughout South East Asia we need to develop social services to help those families finding appropriate solutions instead of giving up their children. We need to strengthen families and to place higher value on keeping families together instead of investing in institutions.

This story comes from Cambodia, however, it reflects the real situations in many countries throughout SE Asia. We see in this story that the children take no part in expressing any opinion or making any decision for their own lives. This book speaks for children, expressing their opinions and feelings that we might take for granted or never listen to.

U.N. Documents and Resources

U.N. GUIDELINES FOR ALTERNATIVE CARE OF CHILDREN

Children who cannot live with their parents should still grow up in a loving home and enjoy all their rights. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is so concerned that this does not happen that it has drawn up a set of Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. The Guidelines are intended to help everyone who is responsible for the care and wellbeing of children.

The Guidelines explain why it is necessary to make arrangements for some children to live away from their parents and which alternatives might be right for children in different situations.

UNICEF REVIEW OF ALTERNATIVE CARE IN THAILAND 2015

The purpose of this research was to capture more accurate and detailed information regarding children in various forms of alternative care in Thailand, as well as the legal, policy, management and oversight environment surrounding them in order to plan and programme more strategically in the area of alternative care, and simultaneously contribute to the global evidence base for international findings and recommendations on alternative care.

APPLICATION OF THE U.N. GUIDELINES FOR ALTERNATIVE CARE

One of the aims of this site is to bring as much of the information about alternative as possible to a Thai speaking audience. If you have relevant reports or documents Thai language please contact us  so that we can add them to this site.

Tools To Move Forward

MOVING FORWARD – IMPLEMENTING THE GUIDELINES

Moving Forward provides practical guidance on moving forward on the road to alternative care provision for children.

It highlights implications for policy-making where national governments should provide leadership as well as examples of what is being done on the ground internationally.

MAKING DECISIONS FOR THE BETTER CARE OF CHILDREN

Gatekeeping involves making decisions about care in the best interests of children who are at risk of losing, or already without, adequate parental care. It is a systematic procedure to ensure that alternative care for children is used only when necessary and that the child receives the most suitable support to meet their individual needs. With millions of children denied their right to adequate care worldwide, gatekeeping is a key issue for any country – high, low or middle income, stable or fragile. Gatekeeping has evolved into a central issue for those within the child-care and child-protection sector, and for all responsible for implementing international standards for children’s rights, especially those contained within the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and those found in the Guidelines on the Alternative Care of Children, endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2009. 

IN OUR LIFETIME

With concerted effort and the right investments, the institutionalisation of children could end globally by 2050.

Donors play a vital role in making this a reality and in influencing other stakeholders on the ground, especially those who are resistant to reform. This report provides donors with the information they need to make informed decisions about investments and funding in relation to the institutionalization of children, which is known to be harmful to their health, development and future life chances. It encourages donors to review funding procedures to ensure that they are strengthening families through reforming community-based services and not inadvertently funding institutional care.

FAMILIES, NOT ORPHANAGES

With particular attention to lower income countries, this paper examines the mismatch between children’s needs and the realities and long-term effects of residential institutions. Evidence presented in this paper indicates that the number of orphanages is increasing, particularly in countries impacted by conflict, displacement, AIDS, high poverty rates or a combination of these factors. The paper examines available evidence on the typical reasons why children end up in institutions, and the consequences and costs of providing this type of care compared to other options. The paper concludes with a description of better care alternatives and recommendations for policy-makers.

Institutionalization in Thailand

A HIDDEN CRISIS, THE PROLIFERATION OF PRIVATE CHILDREN’S HOMES IN THAILAND

Based on research conducted in 2016 and 2017 this report estimates the full extent of the unregistered private children’s home industry in Thailand.

Existing under the radar and without government monitoring, these institutions are home to thousands of children in Thailand. Their very existence confirms the large gap that Thailand is yet to cross in order to implement the guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

EXPLORING THE “ORPHANAGE MYTH” IN THAILAND

Based on interviews with 605 children in December 2014 this report looks at the reasons why children entered 17 unregistered private children’s homes in Sangkhlaburi District.

The study also looked at the standards of care provided by the homes.

With 90% of the children confirming that they have at least one living parent and the majority identifying poverty or its consequences as the main reason they came to the home, this report found a huge gap between the current operating of these children’s homes and the good practice set out in the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND: NO LESS THAN 120,000 CHILDREN IN INSTITUTIONAL CARE IN THAILAND

In Thailand, at least 120,000 children are in
various institutional care settings, mostly
due to poverty and limited access to
education, with 90% having at least one
living parent. The country relies heavily on
institutional care, with over 50% of private
orphanages unregistered and outside of
any regulations.

Thailand Government Laws and Reports

THAILAND CHILD PROTECTION ACT 2003

The English version of the Child Protection Act of 2003 was translated by Mr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ministry of Foreign Affair, and edited by Ms. Ramaimas Warjorvaara, under the commission of UNICEF Office for Thailand, Bangkok, March 2004.

CRCCT CHIANG MAI RESEARCH REPORT

Volunteer Resources

BEFORE VOLUNTEERING – RETHINKINGORPHANAGES.ORG

Guide to help a prospective volunteer evaluate the opportunity and how to determine the need for their services and possible effectiveness.

7 TIPS FOR TRAVELERS – CHILD SAFE MOVEMENT

7 ways to protect children during your travels.

WHY TO SAY NO – RETHINKORPHANAGES.ORG

People generally volunteer overseas to contribute something meaningful and experience a new culture. However, some volunteer-sending companies may be more concerned with creating a ‘life-changing’ experience for the volunteer, with less focus on the purpose and the needs of local communities.

Here’s what to look for to make sure your time overseas is genuinely spent making a difference:

Vulnerable Children Resources

BUILDING FUTURES IN THAILAND

This report is based on in-depth interviews with migrant children and parents, real estate and construction companies, government Ministries, and NGOs. It explores the challenges faced by children living in construction site camps, and suggests solutions that can be scaled to foster social responsibility within Thailand’s construction sector.

Family Strengthening Resources

ACT’s FAMILY STRENGTHENING HANDBOOK

Supporting and strengthening families to care for their own children can keep them from needing alternative care – both now and in the future. The Family Strengthening Handbook is an ACT project aimed at guiding practitioners on how best to strengthen families at risk of needing alternative care. This resource was born from studying the work of 10 different organizations doing family strengthening work in Thailand. The result is a comprehensive guide for how to strengthen families in vulnerable situations. It outlines some best practices from around Thailand that have proven to work in building the capacity of adults in order to improve outcomes for children.

We also offer a 3-day training in how to use this handbook in both English and Thai as well as a 5-day TOT for anyone wanting to be trained in how to equip others with this tool. Contact us for more information!

One of the aims of this site is to bring as much of the information about alternative as possible to a Thai speaking audience. If you have relevant reports or documents Thai language please contact us  so that we can add them to this site.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This