New to Haiti: Foster care for the nation’s parentless kids

David Crary  |  AP - Washington Post

The government of Haiti has set out "to improve the deplorable status of the country’s children," through a partnership between the state child welfare agency and several international child-service organizations, by beginning to build a foster care system in the country, according to this article from the Washington Post. Haiti is "recruiting and training Haitians who buy into the idea that being a foster parent is a noble mission" in an effort to transition children out of institutions and into family-based care. "By itself, foster care won’t come close to resolving the plight of Haiti’s children. Long-term solutions are needed that for now are beyond the government’s financial reach — notably, better educational opportunities and social supports so poor families don’t feel compelled to place their children in orphanages or domestic servitude in the first place." However, experts see this new program as a step in the right direction, says the article, and see the move "as evidence of the government’s determination to modernize and strengthen an array of child-oriented policies and practices — and lessen reliance on foreign-based charities and mission groups."

“We can’t go on placing kids in institutions,” said Vanel Benjamin, IBESR’s foster-care coordinator. “The answer is family.”