Children set to be moved from RCI and reunited with their families
Our program, This Life Reimagining Care, aims to contribute to the reduction in children in residential care institutions (RCIs) in Cambodia, increase the capacity of social workers to undertake quality reintegrations, and promote family-based care.
It is estimated that of the at least 16,000 children in orphanages across the country, 80% have a living parent. Poverty is the primary reason why they end up living there as parents wrongly assume that their children will always receive better care in these institutions. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. In extensive dialogues with care leavers, almost all revealed they wish they had remained with their families. Among the many challenges they faced was the difficulty in reintegrating back into society, and not having bonds with their relatives.
Comprehensive research has shown that it is in the best interests of children that they never are separated from their families. Alternative solutions must always be sought and every effort should be made to successfully children integrate into family, kinship, or community-based care.
Thanks to funding from USAID through Save The Children’s initiative, and in collaboration with the Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (DoSVYs), we continue to make great strides towards achieving our goal. On January 10th, 2023, This Life signed a partnership agreement with Neoum Channa House, an RCI. The RCI will close and the children will instead be reunited with their families. The agreement outlines a shared commitment to conducting child-family reunifications, case management, and ensuring effective accountability for the children’s wellbeing.