How many children in orphanages have a living parent?

It's true. 8 out of 10 children living in orphanages have a living parent.

Please join us as we change the way we care for the world’s most vulnerable children.

Catholic Relief Services and Maestral International have partnered with other organizations
to change the way we care for children around the world.


There’s a smarter way

As many as 80 percent of children in residential care facilities – sometimes called “orphanages” – have at least one living parent. Once they are separated from their families, the futures of these children can be dim, especially if they have a disability. Children in residential care are at greater risk for neglect, abuse and trafficking. CTWWC brings sustainable change and country-led family care alternatives for children and young people.

We are already seeing results in Kenya, Moldova and Guatemala.

Changing the Way We Care is working in several countries to create effective, lasting systemic change for the 2 to 8 million children in residential care institutions, or so-called orphanages – a movement referred to as care reform. In our demonstration countries, Changing the Way We Care works with partners to provide families with the support and resources they need to keep their families intact, strong, loved, and nurtured. And, when it is not possible to keep family together, we work to provide family-based care alternatives for these children, such as care from a family member (kinship care) or foster care. Through programming, learning, and influence, our hope is that our work can grow in other countries and change the way the world cares for children.

Supporting care leavers

Every day, children and young people who have spent all or part of their lives in residential care “age out” of the system. These young adults, known as care leavers, leave residential care to fend for themselves even though they have never participated in or been part of a community.

With no support and little understanding of how to function in the outside world, young adults struggle to lead full and productive lives.

Together we can Change The Way We Care and prevent these young people from ever facing such challenges as adults.

Changing the Way We Care℠ consortium partners…

Have come together to bring their decades of experience and expertise, working with vulnerable children
around the world, to Change The Way We Care.



Other ways to get involved

Changing the way we care for children and young people requires strong will, effective and accessible social services, a trained social service workforce (which includes social workers, psychologists and others), and a reallocation of resources towards making families stronger. By putting children’s needs first, countries can build care systems that are sustainable and compassionate.

YOU can be a part of the movement to change how children are cared for – so that every child can stay in the loving arms of nurturing, strong families. Whether you are a person of faith, child welfare advocate, policymaker, or charitable person, there is a role for you to play.

Do you support a residential care facility (also referred to as an “orphanage”) overseas? Did you know that by trying to do good, you may unknowingly be supporting a harmful and growing industry? Contact us to learn how you can change the way YOU care.

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