Christians are being urged to radically re-think their investment in overseas orphanages and consider giving instead to family-based forms of care.
Dr. Krish Kandiah, founder of Home for Good, a charity that champions fostering or adoption, is challenging the longstanding Christian tradition of supporting orphanages despite their “detrimental effect” on the physical, social and emotional development of children.
With an estimated 8 million children around the world living in orphanages, the charity has today launched a new campaign encouraging Christians in the U.K. to invest in ways to help these children find a loving home within families.
This could be through family strengthening, reunification with their birth family, or through local fostering or adoption.
“As a foster carer and adopter myself, I know that every child needs the love and care of a family. Through the work of Home for Good, we are seeing Christians stepping up to meet the needs of vulnerable children by becoming foster carers and adopters for U.K. children,” he said.
“So now we are asking people to have the same ambition for the vulnerable children that we are supporting overseas. They too need the love of a family rather than settling for living in institutions. If orphanages are not good enough for our kids, they’re not good enough for any child.”
A ComRes poll for Home for Good found that churchgoers were seven times more likely to visit or volunteer in orphanages than the rest of the population, while a Resonate Panel survey of 1,200 Christians found that 44% had financially supported an orphanage in the last 12 months.
At the same time, according to figures from Home for Good, an estimated 80% of children in orphanages have a living parent and have been forced into institutional care, not because of bereavement but because of poverty.
The government announced last year that it was ending support for overseas orphanages, with the then Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, saying at the time that U.K. funding would instead be championing families.
“Orphanages are harmful to children and it is often those with disabilities who are placed in them the most. This needs to end, which is why I’m committed to the longterm plan to ensure all children grow up with a family of their own,” she said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Christian Today