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The Problem

Every day is one too many​

Overview

Children are physically and psychologically harmed when they are raised in institutions.

About 90% of children in orphanages are not orphans and have at least one living parentEvery child deserves to grow up in a loving family. This is OrphanCare’s passionate objective. About 8 million children across the globe live in institutions even though most of them have families. Poverty is the root cause why children are placed in institutions.

In Malaysia, an estimated 64,000 children live in child care institutions, in registered and unregistered government and private orphanages. It is difficult to establish just how many unregistered homes there are. These care institutions are funded by government and well-meaning charities, religious bodies, corporations and individuals. Children may receive shelter, food, a bed, clothes and an education but they don’t receive the love, support and critical sense of identity they would only get from being part of a family.

The harm caused by Institutions

The impact on health and development

There is much evidence that children growing up in institutions often demonstrate delays in physical and emotional, social and cognitive development. Children cared for by institutions are more likely to suffer poor health, physical underdevelopment, slow brain growth and experience developmental delays and emotional attachment disorders.

Consequently, they have more intellectual, social and behavioural problems than children growing up in a family environment. They also suffer from not having a family support structure and being branded social outcasts; effects that often last a lifetime. With the right support older children can go on to live fairly normal lives. For babies and young children under the age of three the harm is often permanent and irreversible; that no amount of physical or psychological treatment can remedy. Their future is bleak.

Risk of harm, abuse and neglect

Violence is common in institutions because:

  • poor staff to children ratio often results in neglect and sometimes abuse
  • many children risk being physically and sexually abused by older children or staff
  • there’s the risk of child abusers gaining access to children through employment and institutional oversight 

High Financial Costs

Institutional care is costly compared to community based prevention and family support systems. In Sudan and Cambodia for example, family based care costs 10% of an institutional placement. Studies show that community based services are more cost effective than institutions and deliver higher quality care to more children. (Lumos Foundation 2014)

Rather than creating, supporting and funding options that keep vulnerable children in orphanages we need solutions that keep children and families together. This is our mission.

The Facts

Brain Development In Children

Early psychological deprivation has profound effects on brain activity in young children, as demonstrated in the two images which detail the electroencephalogram level (EEG level) of an institutionalised child compared

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Common Abusive Punishments

slapping hitting with objects pulling hair burning with cigarettes sleep deprivation food deprivation prolonged periods of exhausting and painful exercise involving children in extremely heavy work humiliating children in front

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Institutionalisation’s Downside

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

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Shocking Stats

87% had at least ONE living parent [1] 86% had contact with their families [1] 10 times more likely to be involved in PROSTITUTION as adults [2] 35% had both

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The Numbers…

No. of homes Type of institution No. of children Malaysian government run institutions 12 Large scale homes 1,500 8 Small group homes 150 7 Home for disabled 630 19 Homes

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What Is Attachment

Attachment theory argues that a strong emotional and physical attachment to at least one primary caregiver is critical to personal development. John Bowlby first coined the term after studying the

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What is Institutional Care

Institutional care is understood to be any residential care where an institutional culture prevails. The size of the institution matters but is not the only defining feature. Children are isolated

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Why Children Are Institutionalised

Poverty is the root cause financial and debt problems inadequate housing unemployment marital problems low education level parenting is too difficult for single parents health problems including addiction lack of

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Youth Issues

The young women who come to us often fear being rejected by their families. Some are forced to leave home because they have shamed the family. The more fortunate ones

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