By Jesse Blaine | Cambodia
World Orphans is excited to share with you the release of a new video ‘Why Not a Family?’ presented by Uniting For Children. Uniting For Children is a movement whose purpose is to “expand the conversation about the best ways to care for orphaned and vulnerable children.”
The full version of the video can be viewed here: http://unitingforchildren.org/video/
The continuing prevalence of institutional care for children around the world, especially among the poor, is a great challenge for our generation . Despite a reduction in the number of orphans in Cambodia, the number of orphanages increased by an estimated 65% between 2005-2008 . Let me repeat that in question form....how does less orphans = more orphanages?
The increase has continued since then. Orphanages are predominantly supported by foreign donors and to exist they need to keep bringing in children. Three out of four children living in orphanages in Cambodia are not orphans, they still have at least one living parent . Many children in institutional environments experience developmental delay and irreversible psychological damage due to a lack of consistent caregiver input, inadequate stimulation, lack of rehabilitation and poor nutrition. Institutionalization isolates children from their families and communities and places them at an increased risk of neglect, social isolation and abuse . Orphanages and shelters are a poor long-term solution and should only be a temporary and last resort.
The good news is that there is a better way and it works.
Family-based care involves keeping children with their own relatives (kinship care) or in loving substitute families (foster care). At World Orphans, we are excited to walk alongside churches as they provide home based and family based care for children.
 Uniting For Children 2013 www.unitingforchildren.org  A Study of Attitudes Toward Residential Care in Cambodia, 2011  Alternative Care Report, Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation, 2008  WHO, 2012 Early Childhood Development and Disability: A discussion paper