Child Care Reform
in India

India has the largest number of children living in residential care in the world. In total, over 9,500 Child Care Institutions (CCIs), also known as orphanages, house nearly 400,000 children. 1 India has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and is a signatory to UN Guidelines on Alternative Care and yet, between 80—90% of children have a living parent. Recently, there has been growing momentum in India to promote family-based care in the country.


Approach, Highlights and Accomplishments

Changing the Way We CareSM (CTWWC) India is focused on preventing the separation of children from their families and their institutionalization, using a family strengthening approach. This is implemented through collaboration with others, building the capacity of partners, data collection and knowledge sharing. CTWWC works primarily in the Indian State of Odisha.

Our initiative in India is currently much smaller relative to our other demonstration counties. However, additional funding could make a much greater impact for children and families. The CTWWC initiative works through a local partner in Odisha to:

  • establish and strengthen community-level groups that make decisions about children’s care by setting up Village Child Protection Committees (VCPCs). VCPCs are community groups made up of service providers, community leaders and families who identify, plan, and act upon child protection risks in their villages.
  • create awareness campaigns on the harmful impact of child separation and institutionalization.
  • support local authorities and partners in developing a child protection plan that includes preventing child separation and institutionalization, taking into consideration the Covid-19-caused socio-economic fallout.
  • promote family strengthening of at-risk families in collaboration with local district child protection providers.
  • adapt our programming to serve children and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide virtual monitoring, food and cash assistance.

In addition, the CTWWC team works to:

  • influence national policy and practice around children’s care through collaboration, engagement in working groups, and research.
  • improve the capacity and sensitivity of those that work with children and families.
  • support a compilation toolkit on emerging practices in care reform and contribute to research and policy discourse in collaboration with the India Alternative Care Network (IACN).
  • engage with CCIs managed by faith-based communities and work to transition them to family support centers together with the existing church structure and government.



Anjali’s Story

12-year-old Anjali* was separated from her family at the age of five and lived in three different orphanages until late 2018. Anjali lost her father before she was born, and her mother was encouraged to send her to an orphanage by her family. When CTWWC was launched in Odisha, they met Anjali and learned about her willingness to return to her village. With support from her mother, CTWWC partners provided case management support to both Anjali and her family to begin the transition process, engaging with the orphanage for her release. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Anjali attended school and her mother was employed. The process of reuniting Anjali with her family took 5 months. CTWWC has supported the reunification of 11 children with their families to date.

*Name has been changed to protect the safety of the child.


CTWWC India Achievements by the Numbers

  • 3 round tables of experts have been convened to discuss best practices in working with vulnerable, abandoned, orphaned and at-risk children.
  • 11 children have been reunified with their families with ongoing case management.
  • 46 social service workers have been trained on concepts of alternative care, child abuse and exploitation, case management, deinstitutionalization, and barefoot counseling.i
  • 208 child protection committee members have been trained on making decisions in the best interest of the child.
  • 715 at-risk families can access available government services.
  • 767 parents have been trained on good parenting skills and COVID-19-safe behavior.
  • 1398 parents have been educated on the negative impacts of institutionalization.


  • i Barefoot counselling is a community-based protection program focusing on home visitation, psycho-social support and protection-based awareness raising.

The designations employed and the presentation of the material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of CTWWC partners concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.



Other Ways to Get Involved

Every child deserves a family and together we can Change the Way We Care by getting involved. There are many small ways YOU can make a difference!

Do you support 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 to you can change the way YOU care.