Supports families and front-line social workers with the aim of preventing children with disabilities being unnecessarily placed in orphanages. In addition, the project supports the pilot program Small Group Homes, which focuses on children living with severe disabilities.
Evidence shows us that children with disabilities are far more likely to reach their full potential when cared for within their family and community. When these children are fully integrated into their community, they are able to live rewarding lives, while also avoiding the negative effects of institutionalization and social isolation.
Poverty is a major driver in the abandonment of children with special needs in Cambodia. Most of the time, families do not have access to information or knowledge of the support services which exist to help them care for these children.
Living in residential care can harm a child’s physical, intellectual and emotional development, especially for those with special needs. Therefore, a strong family preservation program is essential to ensure children remain in their families and are not unnecessarily placed in orphanages.
Over 500 Cambodian children with disabilities are currently placed in orphanages. Here, they often face neglect and experience inappropriate care. Alternative solutions to residential care are very rare in Cambodia, and children with disabilities are often the last ones to benefit from programs enabling them to leave institutions for a family environment that is adapted to their needs.
In Cambodia, social workers generally receive little to no training. However, increasing the knowledge and skills of social workers and other professionals is the key to improving the lives of these children.
Our project’s key objectives are to build the capacity of social workers so they can continue to support children with disabilities and their families in a way which ensures their wellbeing and growth. Through implementing this strategy, it is more likely children will remain in their families rather than being placed in an orphanage.
We are currently developing both a workshop and practical guidebook for frontline social workers in Cambodia. The contents of these resources are intended to prevent the further abandonment of children with disabilities by supporting and centralizing the family unit.
In circumstances where family reintegration is not possible and foster care is not an appropriate pathway due to the child’s particular needs, we consider the possibility of placing him/her into a small group home with specifically trained carers. A pilot project called the Small Group Homes is now being implemented in Neak Loeung.
With your support, our goal is to make sure that no child with special needs is left behind in Cambodia, and that these children can benefit from quality care which supports their holistic growth and development.
Tax deduction possible in the following countries : Switzerland
Partners : UNICEF Cambodia, ISS Australia, Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), SPOON