The importance of families: 4 reasons foster care is better

March 27, 2017
Beyond the Orphanage

Have you ever stopped to think about what your life would be like if you hadn’t grown up with your family around? Imagine all the life skills and emotional support you would have missed.

Here are four reasons why foster care and kinship care for children is better.

1. One-on-one attention

Our Founder, Geoff Hucker, started visiting Ethiopia some 16 years ago. The lack of one-on-one attention children were able to receive from adults in homes – where the carer-to-child ratio was more than 3:1 – stood out as an issue. It wasn’t that the children were being looked after by of un-loving carers. There simply just wasn’t enough time in a day to give each child the attention they so much craved, needed and deserved.

Children need more than good physical care. They also need the love, attention and an attachment figure from whom they develop a secure base on which all other relationships are built. – John Williamson and Aaron Greenberg

And that’s the abbreviated story of how the Beyond the Orphanage story began! Our foster and kinship model of care was chosen specifically to meet both the physical and emotional needs of children, and was designed by leading social policy professional, Dr Natalie Conner.

Home based care for orphans

2. Supporting family relationships

Poverty is the number one reason children don’t live with family members. Families often just can’t afford to support another child. We support orphaned children to live in the care of their relatives or a family in their community. Our children grow up feeling loved.

Beyond The Orphanage’s financial support makes remaining with extended family possible. We pay for rent where needed, as well as food, health and education. This ensures children being fostered don’t feel like they add financial pressure on the family unit.

Everyone needs the love and care of a family. Click To Tweet

3. Connectedness and bridging the gap

Foster and kinship care, also known as community-based care, bridges the gap. The children are cared for in the context of a family unit. They become part of a wider community, with no added stigmatization by the larger society.
 
“Families have better potential to enable children to establish the attachments and other opportunities for individual development and social connectedness“, say John Williamson and Aaron Greenberg of USAID and UNICEF (respectively) in their paper for the Better Care Network. 
 
Community-based care allows children to connect with others in their community. Socialisation will serve them well in their adult life. This model of care ensures they can become healthy, well adjusted adults, who are able to maintain relationships. Have you ever stopped to think what life would be like if you didn’t grow up with your family around? Consider the practical life skills and emotional support you would have missed.

Foster care and family based care for orphans

4. Foster care is more economical

BTO’s goal is to support as many children as possible in the best environment for their development needsHome-based care is more economical than other care alternatives! Because of this, we can afford to care for more children with our model, than others globally used. The sad reality is that there will always be more children to assist.
Beyond The Orphanage takes our home-based care responsibilities seriously. When placing children in their new homes, we carefully interview prospective guardians, and make regular home visits. All our staff and volunteers must adhere to our strict child protection policy; we run ongoing training to ensure our team understands and meets its child protection responsibilities

For many, some of our most treasured memories include that of our favourite home-cooked meal, of a time a parent or older sibling somehow rushed in to save the day for us, or of a seasonal holiday spent with those we love. 

Want to help provide support for more orphaned children to be cared for in a home-based environment under our kinship care model? Please consider our child sponsorship program. To read more about what it’s like to sponsor a child, check out Amy’s story.

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