deinstitutionalisation

They deserve better

Overview

OrphanCare Foundation believes children should grow up in a family environment. This is the right of a child. Our vision is a Malaysia where children are no longer placed in institutional care.

In pursuit of this we advocate and work to take children out of institutions and have them grow up instead in loving homes and families. To make this work we need to strengthen family units and community based support services. This process is called ‘Deinstitutionalisation’ (DI).

Evidence based research tells us that children brought up in institutions are more likely to suffer poor mental and physical health. Denied the opportunity to form attachments with loved ones they suffer life long physical and psychological harm. Future life chances are extremely poor.

DI is a massive undertaking involving all levels and strata of government, corporations and civil society. OrphanCare is encouraged by the implementation of DI in China, many countries in Europe, Africa and closer to home in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. In May 2015 Malaysia’s Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development announced it was implementing DI, referring to the process of moving from institutional care to family based care.

Currently more than 64,000 children live in various types of institutions in Malaysia. The numbers are growing as the country confronts socio-economic challenges. There is an urgent need to protect and nurture our vulnerable children. As per the Malaysian Child (Amendment) Act 2016 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child it is important for Malaysia to reaffirm that our children have the right to grow up in a safe and nurturing family environment.

We urge the various child care institutions in Malaysia to transition to family based care. Promoters and financial supporters should urgently advise their organisations about this paradigm shift.