Children, Orphanages, and Families: A Summary of Research to Help Guide Faith-Based Action (PDF Download)

Children, Orphanages, and Families: A Summary of Research to Help Guide Faith-Based Action aims to provide a concise overview of a range of studies and findings that can inform approaches to caring for children that have been separated from parental care. The Summary of Research summarizes key overall findings, while also providing examples within specific countries or regions. This resource highlights:

  • Current global estimates and key facts about orphans, vulnerable children, and separation from parental care;
  • Compelling evidence demonstrating the importance of family care;
  • Research on the limitations of orphanages (as well as the continued need for high quality transitional residential care); and
  • A concise overview of family-based care (reunification, kinship, foster care, and adoption) and strategies to strengthen families.

The Summary of Research has been translated into Spanish by Buckner International and French by Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

Content from the Summary of Research is also covered in The Importance of Family webinar and podcast.

Please share your feedback with us:


To date, this is the most helpful, clearly written, well laid-out and well-sourced document I have found on the importance of family based care and the limitations of orphanages. The document provides a compelling argument and rationale for investing in family-based care options, and suggests a range of interventions that can be undertaken to strengthen family care.

Ismael Ddumba-NyanziResearch and M&E coordinator, Strong Beginnings-A Family for all Children” Project, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Makerere University