Do I re-open my residential care facility after the pandemic?
Decades of applied research has shown that children do best in families. While there is hardly a silver lining with a global pandemic, a potential growth area is organizations that discover and utilize family based initiatives rather than long term residential care.
Children’s homes and orphanages
PRIORITIZE FAMILY BASED CARE
During the time that your organization is overseeing families during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should be regularly assessing what works and what doesn’t work in your context. Use those lessons and program adjustments to inform your long term engagement of helping children grow up in families.
USE FACILITIES FOR SHORT TERM AND URGENT SITUATIONS
There are children and families that can benefit from short term residential services for cases of abuse or as an intervention for street dwelling children. Reform your care model to meet the pressing needs and when you re-open, consider having the residential portion be a transitional model.
CASES OF ABUSE, NEGLECT OR EXPLOITATION
If there were cases of abuse in families during the pandemic, you could plan to admit children as needed. Provide rehabilitation for the child and begin counseling with the family and/or search for an alternative family placement for the child. Ensure that protection issues are addressed within the children’s home as abuse is also common within residential models of care.
If you are looking for solutions, coaching or resources, contact 1MILLIONHOME and we’d be glad to help you.
REASSESS RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT
Schools throughout the globe have been closed or shifted to distance learning during the pandemic. This has had a profound impact on boarding schools that have also sent children home out of their residential facilities. Boarding schools have an opportunity to also shift in a post-coronavirus world and shouldn’t rush children back into congregate settings.
EXPAND COMMUNITY ENROLLMENT
While children in boarding schools have some different needs from children in orphanages, the effects of institutional rearing are often quite similar. Providing quality education that allows children to return home at the end of the day allows for more holistic child development on both educational and psychosocial fronts.