Every child deserves a family. Long-term alternative care for at-risk and abandoned children is best practiced within the family, not an institution.
Why Family Care?
Where biological family support is not possible, long-term alternative care for at-risk and abandoned children is best practiced within the family, not an institution. Our model is supported by numerous studies indicating that family care provides the best possible outcomes for children with respect to their psychological development and social and economic success.
The best possible outcome for children who have lost family support is to be placed in a stable, loving family where they can learn and mature in a safe environment. Studies show that family care allows a child to develop long-term relationships and grow in a setting that promotes overall wellbeing as he/she matures into adulthood. In contrast, children who are placed in institutional care have been shown to display a number of social dysfunctions and struggle financially.
The institutionalization of children, especially children whose families are able to care for them, is harmful to their long-term development. Furthermore, it promotes a dangerous trend in source countries and regions of child trafficking where parents believe it is acceptable to send children away for better opportunities. Studies show that even when parents are divorced or struggle in economically lacking situations, children have better long-term outcomes when raised by their own parent(s). A child should only be separated from family support in extreme circumstances.
Our alternative care plan is designed to be the best possible placement option for children who are not eligible for an adoption trajectory because of age, legal instability or experiencing significant traumas that require specialized care. The team approach provides the structure and professional therapies as well as the loving emotional bonds of a stable family that these children require. There are two possible models that roughly correspond to foster parent/family care home and group home placements. The model introduces the God Parent and Mentor roles and reforms and recasts ‘group homes’ as Therapy Centers. It is theorized that these two innovations will greatly improve the experience for both children and caregivers.
Our family care programmes are located in:
Standards for Care.
A home study and background check on each child is undertaken to ensure that no pre-existing family option is available.
The relationships that children have with primary volunteer caregivers foster significant positive emotional and psychological results. Therefore, caregivers should work out of a sense of compassion and call rather than for financial benefit.
Caregivers commit to long-term service so that children do not have to suffer the trauma of continual re-bonding with parental figures. When a caregiving unit is established it is kept together until the children grow to adulthood without adding or removing siblings.
Each family unit should house no more than ten children and should have its own sleeping, bathing, eating and socialising spaces as well as a separate, designated caregiver.
Each child should receive individual care and attention. Both the spirit as well as the daily routine of the home should reveal a fun, loving, nurturing environment where children receive structure, encouragement, praise, consistency and good role models from their caregivers and older siblings.
The children and families we serve are as precious as our own. Our programs represent our best effort at quality care that preserves dignity.
Family is the best mode of childcare. If biological parents are not available, foster parents offer the best solution. Institutional care is to be avoided as much as possible. Every child needs the loving bond of a parent and the long-term stability of a family.
Local organizations are the mode of community transformation. Equipping and resourcing local organizations offers the best approach because it brings empowerment through participation in a local community. This provides a social safety net, spiritual guidance, access to markets, capital, and information.
Collaboration with local organizations and networks provides a wealth of resources and volunteers already established in existing accountability structures.
Trained volunteers serve as caregivers and outreach workers. Volunteerism not only reduces administrative cost, but also ensures that caregivers are driven primarily by their love and compassion for the children rather than financial compensation.
We identify those who are most in need and help those children who are the most vulnerable and at risk. There is a waste of resources when programs become ‘numbers driven’ and little effort is given to distinguish the areas in which children are the most desperate.
Children are integrated into families, organizations, and communities that provide sustainable support. Issues of marriage, college, and career are handled as they are in any other family. They do not expire from that support system after they turn 18.
Become a Mentor
The children and families we serve are as precious as our own. Our programs represent our best effort at quality care that preserves dignity.Family is the best mode of childcare. If biological parents are not available, foster parents offer the best solution. Institutional care is to be avoided as much as possible. Every child needs the loving bond of a parent and the long-term stability of a family.