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Call for the end of the institutionalisation of children

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sheffield Heeley MP, Meg Munn, has pledged to support efforts to end the institutional care of children around the world to ensure that all children have the opportunity to grow up in a family. The MP made the pledge at an event hosted by international charity Hope and Homes for Children in the Houses of Parliament recently.

It is estimated that eight million children across the world are suffering life in an institution or orphanage. Prisoners of outdated childcare systems, these children are deprived of love, attention and care. Years of research has shown that this neglect has a devastating impact on a child’s life.

Some children raised in poor quality institutions fail to stand or walk by the age of four. Many have lower educational performance and are at higher risk of developing personality disorders later in life. They are more likely to become homeless, turn to crime and prostitution or commit suicide. Neglect, abuse and malnutrition leads to the death of many children in institutions.

Hope and Homes for Children is the leading expert in closing children’s institutions and reforming childcare systems. Their work is focused on replacing institutions with quality family-based care, such as adoption and fostering, and establishing services which support families and prevent children going into care in the first place.

Meg commented:

“I support efforts to eradicate institutional care of children around the world. As a former social worker, I know that children looked after by a loving family is more likely to provide the support that all children need. This is especially the case for children who have experienced trauma or family breakdown. Institutional care is damaging for children and the issue needs addressing globally, like it was here in the UK.” 

Hope and Homes for Children’s Chief Executive Mark Waddington said:

“In the UK we drew a line under institutional care for children decades ago because we knew this environment wasn’t fit for our nation’s children and was, in fact, highly damaging. It is unthinkable that we should accept any less for the millions of children in the developing world. We are delighted that Meg has pledged to support our efforts to eradicate this form of childcare across the world within our lifetime.”

For more information visit: http://www.hopeandhomes.org/

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