Ending Institutional Care in Africa: Questions & Answers

Introduction

Love. One-on-one care and attention. A sense of belonging and identity. Safe spaces to play and learn. Trusting relationships. Being part of a community. 

These are things that all children need to grow up happy, healthy and strong - and that only a family can provide. 

Unfortunately, too many children today are growing up in orphanages or children’s homes. Such places even when delivered by well-meaning care providers, can never replace a family. 

An estimated eight million children are already living in institutions around the world. Several million more are at risk. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Child rights organizations, UN agencies, governments, universities, faith communities, practitioners, youth who have exited children’s homes/orphanages, and committed individuals are joining forces to put an end to institutional care in Africa and ensure all children grow up in the love of a family. 

Working in partnership with beneficiaries, these actors are strengthening families and communities, building the capacity of local professionals, and developing family and community care options for children who cannot remain with their own parents. A future without institutions is possible. 

“ Institutions can be closed but a family can never be closed."– A young person from institutional care