At Providence, we’re collaborating with other orphan care providers to bring some certainty to the conversation surrounding the concept of “family.”
While most orphan care providers and advocates agree that placement into a permanent family is necessary for best results, our research has found that the orphan care community lacks a common definition of what comprises a “family” and what represents a “best practice” approach to creating families for orphans (who will not be adopted due to laws, cultural norms, or other realities). At Providence, we’re collaborating with other orphan care providers to bring some certainty to the conversation surrounding the concept of “family.” Through extensive research, we’re seeking to determine what every orphan needs when it comes to a “family.”
On the surface, defining the term “family” and creating a best practice framework within that definition seems like a simple problem to solve. But it doesn’t take too much digging to see that we have a whole lot of work in front of us as an orphan care community to agree on what best practices and excellence look like when it comes to providing orphans with families.
As we seek to create a best practice model framework for orphanages with family as a critical and essential component, we need to reconcile these differences in our definitions of “family.” We need to make sure that we’re on the same page with regard to a clear and comprehensive definition of what “family” actually is so that we can ensure that we’re not talking past each other while collaborating to develop the right model.
We have found one thing that the research certainly bears out. The ideal best practice framework for an orphanage needs a family unit that includes a mother and father who are committed to the children’s lives from the moment they enter the home. Not only will this provide the children with ever-important attachment at the early ages, but it will provide many other necessary components to the development of a gospel-driven leader. Also, creating homes with fathers will avoid some of the tragic consequences plaguing our world due to the increasing amount of fatherless homes.