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Institutionalisation’s Downside

Institutions are lonely places

The Problem

The negative impact of institutionalisation

Institutions do not encourage children to become attached to a significant adult. The consequences include:

  • poor self-confidence, low self worth and esteem
  • lack of empathy and understanding of others
  • indiscriminate affection toward adults and lack of understanding of appropriate boundaries
  • aggression towards others, cruelty to animals; negative and anti-social behaviours
  • autistic tendencies, stereotypical behaviours, self-stimulation and self harming
  • poor cognitive development, academic underachievement
  • poor moral development (difficulty understanding right and wrong)
  • problems with relationships in childhood and adulthood
  • delinquent behaviour in adolescence and young adulthood
  • higher probability of an autistic social personality
Source: Deinstitutionalising and transforming children’s services. A guide to good practice, European Commission Daphne Programme July 2007