Family Care Model
Statement of Need. UNICEF estimates that the number of orphaned children worldwide is about 163 million, largely due to the AIDS pandemic, natural disasters, low world health standards, immense poverty, and food shortages. In Haiti, where the majority of residents live in extreme poverty, there are approximately 300,000 orphaned children. In a nation particularly vulnerable to conflict, that number is growing every day.
Better Outcomes for Orphans. Research shows that kinship, or “OIWW Family Care,” results in better social, emotional, educational, and health outcomes for child wellbeing than institutional care.
Unlike institutions, the family setting offers more security and stability for the child, less moving than foster care, helps keep the child in their same community and school, and requires less government intervention. It also strengthens the child’s social and emotional networks by connecting her/him to extended family, friends, neighbors, and the community.
To best serve the world’s many orphaned children, OIWW works to place them in family settings — with aunts, uncles, grandparents, or other suitable guardians — where they can not only survive, but thrive. Yet, placing them in a family setting is not enough. Caring for an orphaned child is a strain on impoverished families that have limited resources, and the families will struggle, to the detriment of the child, without ongoing support. That is where the UNICEF-approved OIWW Family Care Model comes in.
Community Center Nexus. The OIWW Family Care Model revolves around a community center as the nexus of its programming for the children in its program, their extended families, and at-cost to the greater community. The OIWW Family Care Model is a sustainable, community-centered, and child development-appropriate approach to raising orphaned children as global citizens. The model applies the concept of kinship care, supporting extended family members’ ability to provide temporary or permanent care for orphaned children.
The model calls for the provision of school fees and uniforms for each enrolled child, as well as food/nutrition and healthcare assistance for the entire family. Supplementing this, OIWW provides academic
support, recreational activities, health workshops, after-school programs, and parenting education programs – all designed to ensure that the children and their caregivers have the education and support
they need to maintain the OIWW Family Care arrangement and promote the growth and development of the child. All of these activities take place at a conveniently located community center, at which staff are accessible throughout the day for support.