Why Family-Based Care?
Scripture describes family as God’s idea and His ideal. More and more, social science is confirming this truth: within a family is the best place for a child to grow. According to Faith to Action Initiative, studies show that living in an institution, especially for a long time or at a young age, has significant negative impacts on a child’s development and social relationships and leads to increased risks later in life.
For example, daily life in an orphanage, especially those which house large numbers of children, differs greatly from the daily life of family. Within a loving family, children experience close relationships and day-to-day interactions which contribute to healthy social and emotional development, self-image, and sense of belonging. Without growing up in a family, it is difficult for a child to learn the meaning of kinship and parenting, potentially hindering his or her own ability to comprehend the idea of a good, loving heavenly Father, as well as his or her ability to parent effectively later in life.
Also, studies show that children who grow up in an institution are frequently unprepared for life outside of an orphanage. Despite the best efforts of the institution, life skills necessary for successful, independent living are more difficult to acquire in this type of living situation. Too many times this results in unemployment, homelessness, conflict with the law, and sexual exploitation. Not surprisingly, these same studies show that children raised in biological, foster, and adoptive families demonstrate better physical, intellectual, and developmental outcomes than children living in an institution.
At Homes of Love, we have always championed the idea of children in families. While we appreciate the role institutions can play, we know that the love, sense of belonging, and connection to community that come through living in the love of a family will help our Homes of Love children grow into thriving adults and give them an awareness of the Father’s love for them. For this reason, we identify, train, and support Christian parents in Southeast Asia and Africa to raise orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children as their own. We believe God intends for every child to grow up with a family, and it is our goal to create and support families for life.
View TED Talk video, "Why We Need to End the Era of Orphanages," Tara Winkler, Sydney, Australia