The current literature review provides a conceptual and empirical framework for understanding child institutional maltreatment. The challenges and vulnerabilities of children placed in alternative residential care are being addressed. Research findings highlight the adversities children experience within residential care. Evidently, although residential settings are meant to protect and promote the wellbeing of children in danger, they expose them to multiple risks including abusive experiences by peers and staff and eventually fuel the circle of abuse. Malpractices within care institutions include physically, psychologically and sexually abusive or neglectful practices. Non – institutional care is gradually gaining awareness along with the need to revolutionize family-based services.