Lighthouse Children’s Village* was established in 2004 as a privately-run and privately-funded residential care institution. In 2014, its long-time principal donor made the decision to phase out of financially supporting institutional care. The directors of Lighthouse were quick to agree to the concept of family-based care but blocked the transition process over a tumultuous two-year period, with the aim of protecting their own interests. Evidence of intentional child rights violations culminated in the reporting of abuse and exploitation to authorities, the closure of the institution, and the transfer of children into small group homes as a measure of protection from the directors.
This case study highlights some of the early warning signs and subsequent discovery of unethical and criminal behavior that can sometimes be observed in a transition process. While the presence of so many high-risk factors may not typically be seen in a single transition, some of them have been frequently observed in cases where directors harbor motivations that override the best interests of children. The case study is organized around the various stages of transition and explores some of the key themes outlined in the Transitioning Models of Care Assessment Tool. It also features a timeline that provides a visual representation of the key milestones and durations of each of the stages of transition.
*Names and locations of individuals and organizations have been changed; however, the details represent a true account.