evidence based action

Achieving DI in a generation

Overview

The primary motivation for DI must be a genuine commitment to respect all children’s rights – UNHCR

Children are our most precious asset. It is our responsibility to ensure they develop to their fullest potential. We are aware of the negative impact of institutional care. It is therefore our responsibility to ensure that less privileged Malaysian children are given opportunities to achieve their best potential.

Evidence that deinstitutionalisation (DI) works

In the past it was mostly institutions that looked after children. Today countries are moving in the direction of DI because it produces better outcomes.  Countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand are reforming their childcare systems, implementing DI and working towards reintegrating children back into nurturing communities.

Implementing DI is challenging.  Countries with vision embarked on the paradigm shift in public attitudes and committed resources to move children from an institutional to family-based care system. Malaysia’s move to DI is evidence based.

Family and community-based child care is more cost effective and able to deliver better quality care to more children. Studies from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia show institutional care can be as much as six times more expensive than providing social services to vulnerable families. The same cost disparity occurs in many other parts of the world.

Source reference: The Risk of Harm, Lumos, 2014 cost

One study in Haiti, estimated it costs US$1560 on average per year to support a family with a child, provide him or her with medical care, food and a place in school. It would cost US$6600 per year to keep that same child in an institution with much poorer quality care and exposed to the risk of serious harm. Four times more!

In Sudan and Cambodia family based care costs just 10% of an institutional placement.

Source reference: Ending the Institutionalisation of children in Malaysia, Lumos, 2014

Benefits of Deinstitutionalisation

  • Children raised in family based care tend to be less inhibited socially, mentally and emotionally
  • Children have increased self confidence
  • The child’s physical and emotional development improves
  • The children can be part of the community
  • Adoption could be an alternative to baby dumping
  • Birth mothers receive parenting help
  • Funds can be redirected to community centres that can protect a child and help the family

Source reference: Ending the Institutionalisation of Children in Malaysia, Lumos, 2014. 

Family based care will take root when Malaysians understand that raising children in institutions is harmful. OrphanCare is helping this paradigm shift through its programs and campaigns.

A successful care leaver

An orphan now helping other orphans
At 17 he was told to leave his institutional home. Legally he wasn’t an adult and he didn’t have a place he could call home.