Children belong in safe families
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states children should live with their families. If they can’t live in their biological family then the state should provide an alternative family (e.g. foster care, kinship care or domestic adoption).
In our experience, when children are asked whether they would prefer to live with a family or in an orphanage, almost always choose a family.
What about you?
Would your preference be a safe family or a children's home?
What if it was your child? Or your niece or nephew? Your friends' kids?
Where would you want them to be looked after if they could no longer live with their parents?
For some examples of children talking about wanting a family:
Safe Families provide a lifelong connection
Biological families are lifelong relationships. In childhood such relationships are key to providing guidance, boundaries and information. They help us grow into adults preparing us for adulthood and helping us deal with adversities and challenges, whilst also making us smile, laugh and learn.
In adulthood these relationships provide advice and support, a go to person for that extra bit of knowledge, assurance or praise that we all need from time to time.
Children achieve better outcomes in a safe family
Research* tells us, children that live in families (biological or nonbiological) achieve better comparative outcomes than those who live in institutions.
Safe families are more likely to provide children the attention and caring environment they need. They are more likely to be responsive and attentive to an individual child's needs, such as education, health, interests.
These factors all lead to a greater chance of positive development, health, educational and social outcomes.
*Keeping Children out of Harmful Institutions by Save the Children, Families, Not Orphanages by Better Care Network, The Science of Neglect by Centre on the Developing Child at Harvard University, Ending the Institutionalisation of Children Globally by Lumos