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Children, Orphanages, and Families: A summary of research to help guide faith-based action

This resource aims to provide a concise overview of a range of studies and findings that can inform approaches to caring for children who, through orphan-hood, abandonment, or other causes, have been separated from parental care. Included are current global estimates and key facts about orphans and children living in orphanages; an introduction to the range of care options; significant findings that demonstrate the importance of family-based case and the limitations of orphanages; and interventions that strengthen family care and help prevent placement in orphanages.

The purpose of this document is not to argue that residential care for orphans and vulnerable children is never needed. For children in emergency situations and with no other means of support, high-quality residential care can provide transitional, rehabilitative, or interim special-needs care. As a primary or long-term solution, orphanages cannot replace the loving care of family and too often fail to meet the needs of children and youth. 

This guide strives to summarize key overall findings while also providing examples within specific countires or regions, to further illustrate some of the general points. This document provides a foundation for organizations that provide care and services to children and families in need.

Published 2014-07-15

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