the problem

Across the globe 8 million children are living in institutions that deny them individual love and care. More than 80% are not orphans. They are separated from their families because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. As a result, many suffer lifelong physical and emotional harm.

'Other' category

Despite most having families who love them, 8 million children worldwide live in institutions because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. A small percentage are in institutions due to behavioural problems or due to being abused or neglected. This is a violation of their rights.

Many children are institutionalised because local schools are not adapted to teach children with physical or learning disabilities and local health services cannot provide specialised care. Social services are insufficient to meet the needs of poor families or protect children from abuse.

Decision makers resist closing institutions because they cannot imagine a system of family based care and lack the resources to fund and manage the change. Personnel resist for fear of losing their jobs. Stigma attached to children in care makes communities reluctant to accept them.

Video Children need Families not Orphanages
Children need Families not Orphanages thumbnail
Story Families in emergency situations
Families in emergency situations thumbnail
Case study Dreams of a family: Daniel*'s story
Dreams of a family: Daniel*'s story thumbnail
Story Exposing the Link Between Trafficking and Institutions
Exposing the Link Between Trafficking and Institutions thumbnail

Families told of how they were forced to place their children in institutions because of poverty and a lack of support services in their communities.

We only saw each other on Saturdays and Sundays. this is not enough for any child. Everything changed after we took our child from the institution.

Story Barriers to Changing Systems of Care
Barriers to Changing Systems of Care thumbnail
Story As economic crisis bites, children pay the price
As economic crisis bites, children pay the price thumbnail
Story Borrowing orphans to hide corruption
Borrowing orphans to hide corruption thumbnail
Story Radu's Story
Radu's Story thumbnail
Story A victory for children with hydrocephalus
A victory for children with hydrocephalus thumbnail
Story Spotlight on Hydrocephalus and institutionalisation
Spotlight on Hydrocephalus and institutionalisation thumbnail
Video Orphanages in Haiti
Orphanages in Haiti thumbnail
Story Institutions separate children from their families AND their communities
Institutions separate children from their families AND their communities thumbnail
Video Behind the Walls
Behind the Walls thumbnail
Story Taking responsibility for institutionalising children
Taking responsibility for institutionalising children thumbnail
Story Institutions are not the answer in the cases of child abuse and neglect
Institutions are not the answer in the cases of child abuse and neglect thumbnail
Story Challenges in Changing Financing Structures
Challenges in Changing Financing Structures thumbnail
Story Challenges in Changing Legal Structures
Challenges in Changing Legal Structures thumbnail
Story Challenges in Developing Social Services
Challenges in Developing Social Services thumbnail
Story Challenges in Changing Health Systems
Challenges in Changing Health Systems thumbnail
A complex process Systems That Need to Change
Systems That Need to Change thumbnail
Video J.K. Rowling: This is Lumos
J.K. Rowling: This is Lumos thumbnail
Story 'I was told by the doctor to leave my child...'
'I was told by the doctor to leave my child...' thumbnail
Story A Visit Back In Time
A Visit Back In Time thumbnail
Story Drivers of Institutionalisation
Drivers of Institutionalisation thumbnail
Story Drivers of Institutionalisation
Drivers of Institutionalisation thumbnail
1 in 3 became homeless
outcomes for children who grew up in institutions (Survey data in Russia)
Case Study Poverty Drives Families Apart
Poverty Drives Families Apart thumbnail
The Facts 8 million children are in institutions
8 million children are in institutions thumbnail
Story "I would never have given him up"
Story Making Inclusive Education a Reality - Lessons from Moldova
Making Inclusive Education a Reality - Lessons from Moldova thumbnail
Story A focus on children with disabilities
A focus on children with disabilities thumbnail
Story Better Health, Better Lives
Better Health, Better Lives thumbnail
Story Lumos' pioneering training programmes
Lumos' pioneering training programmes thumbnail
Story Un milion de copii au nevoie de ajutorul Dvs
Un milion de copii au nevoie de ajutorul Dvs thumbnail
Story Reducing Infant Mortality In Moldova
Reducing Infant Mortality In Moldova thumbnail
Story Supporting Deinstitutionalisation in Moldova
Supporting Deinstitutionalisation in Moldova thumbnail
Story From the Kennedy Law to the Berlin wall: ending the institutionalisation of children
From the Kennedy Law to the Berlin wall: ending the institutionalisation of children thumbnail
Ceo_blog Willful neglect or poverty and discrimination?
Willful neglect or poverty and discrimination? thumbnail

Insufficient time is granted to cases of vulnerable children and courts often feel like unfriendly places for children.

In many countries healthcare is not free, so parents avoid going to the doctor until the child is seriously ill.

Story Taking ownership for de-institutionalisation - a training programme for managers of the future
Taking ownership for de-institutionalisation - a training programme for managers of the future thumbnail

The new law aims to reduce institutionalisation by offering more support to families and strengthening foster care.

Moving from a system of institutions to one based on community services is challenging. It requires a major shift in vision, attitudes and resources.

explore by map Take a look at what Lumos is doing around the world.
×