Transforming Institutional Care

The detrimental effects of institutional care on a child’s well-being are widely documented. Community care alternatives such as kinship or foster care, are much more effective in providing care and protection for a child, and are sustainable options until family reunification can take place. Institutional care should only be used as a short-term last resort for children over the age of 3, when all other options have been exhausted.

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The Opening Doors for Europe’s Children,

Based on the information gathered throughout the course of the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign, this final report first reflects on: (1) the rationale for the campaign and how it operated; (2) the progress towards child protection system reform across campaign countries as well as the developments at the EU level; and (3) the lessons learnt from the campaign and some final recommendations to the European Union.

HBO Films,

The Finding the Way Home documentary highlights the painful realities of the eight million children living in orphanages and other institutions around the world, telling the stories of six children in Brazil, Bulgaria, Haiti, Nepal, India and Moldova who have found their way into the care of loving families after spending periods of their lives in an institution.


This brief from Lumos reviews the the transition from institutional to family and community-based care under the European Social Fund (ESF) funding period 2014-2018, including promising deinstitutionalisation practices, and outlines key recommendations to the European Union for the completion and implementation of the ESF+ 2021- 2027 funding period.

World Without Orphans,

This video from World Without Orphans tells the story of Anu, who was abandoned as an infant and grew up in a large institution in India, later opening her own home for orphaned and abandoned girls in India to help girls like her, only to realize that this was not the best way to care for the children.

Better Care Network ,

This country care review includes the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committees' recommendations on the issue of Family Environment and Alternative Care, and other care relevant issues, are highlighted.

Murli Desai,

The aim of this module from the book Rights-based Integrated Child Protection Service Delivery Systems is to learn to place children in specific alternative childcare services.

Better Care Network,

In this two-part video series, Nou Dalin, part of the social work team with Cambodia Children's Trust (CCT), discusses her experience of working in partnership with the Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (DoSVY) to implement the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) Action Plan on Improving Childcare in Battambang Province in Cambodia.

Better Care Network,

In this video, Sreyna and Chenda, two practitioners from Hagar Cambodia, discuss their learning regarding the impact of the care setting on child rehabilitation.

Better Care Network,

In this video, Dy Noeut and Kim Malin of New Smile Organisation (NSO) discuss their experience of conducting family tracing as a part of reintegration efforts in the context of an unregistered orphanage where children’s files contained missing and inaccurate information.

Beugre, Anita Princia W. - Leiden University,

Set in Central Region Ghana, using Country-Side Children’s Welfare Home (CCWH) as the main case study, this thesis investigates the underlying factors that are preventing families in the Bawjiase and surroundings from opening their homes and hearts to vulnerable children.