Not allowing poverty to be the reason children are raised by orphanages instead of families.
“Lack of support to families and communities also results in large numbers of children ending up in potentially harmful institutions. 4 out of 5 of the estimated 8 million children currently living in care institutions, have one or both parents alive. With some support these parents would be able to continue to care for their child in their own home.”
-Save the Children, Family Strengthening and Support, September 2010
The Ugandan government recently estimated that there are over 40,000 children living in institutional care in this East African country. Through working in Uganda and coordinating with other individuals and organizations dedicated to alternative care solutions, we have come to understand that the majority of these children are not in institutional care because they are without family or because they are unloved. That many of these 'orphans' are not really orphans at all. We have found that children are growing up in institutions because their families are unable to provide for them. Without a strong safety net, desperate caregivers are left with few options and are forced to place their children in orphanages. In order to prevent family separation we will provide at-risk caregivers with an alternative solution. Through supporting and strengthening families in the Southeastern region of Uganda, the number of children being placed in institutional care unnecessarily will decrease.
Abide Family Center will provide holistic, strengths based, social services to vulnerable families. The center will serve as a transitional living and learning facility by providing caregivers the tools necessary to move toward independence. Families will be referred to the center by local government officials who have determined the family's need for supportive services rather than the removal of the child from the home. A team of social workers will work with families to create individualized care plans. Depending on a number of factors, the family will receive either out-of-home supportive services or in-home supportive services. While enrolled at the center, families will be provided the resources and opportunities for economic and vocational skills strengthening, parenting discussion groups, money management classes, group work support, as well as child care services.