Deinstitutionalisation or DI is the process of moving away from a child care system based on institutions towards a range of integrated family and community-based services.
Deinstitutionalising and transforming children’s services is a collection of activities: The removal of children from institutions has to be accompanied by policy driven change that results in less reliance on residential care and having more services aimed at keeping children in their families and communities.
DI is not about closing orphanages and child care institutions. It is about reintegrating children with their parents, extended kin, adoptive parents, foster parents or being placed in small group homes. Children are given the opportunity to reclaim their identities and to express their individuality while growing in a loving family. Care is taken to ensure each child is placed with the right family. The child and family are counselled and given family and community support assistance to help them be independent.