Lu Lu* is from Daxing, China (a suburb of Beijing) and was in institutional care from birth until he was four-years-old. When he was young, he was diagnosed with congenital heart disease and at the age of four, he was removed from institutional care and placed with a foster family. At first, the transition was difficult. He was withdrawn, had no interest in playing with toys, and would rarely speak. However, after living with his family for over three years, Lu Lu’s behavior transformed.
Care for Children’s vision is for one million children in China to be moved from institutional care into families. Since the organization formed in 1998, they have seen over 250,000 children placed in family care. “When God called me to China in 1998, the vision was simply to place children into local, long-term families,” says Robert Glover, Founder and Executive Director. “After all, this is the Creator’s design for children – to grow up with fathers and mothers.”
Care for Children partners with governments in Asia to create a positive alternative to institutional care through local, family-based care for vulnerable children. The Chinese government runs the foster care programs, and Care for Children collaborates with the government organizations to determine best practices.
Care for Children provides ongoing, high-quality foster care training and family placement services for the government staff at orphanages throughout Asia so they can help provide a positive transition for orphans into foster families. Monthly trainings cover topics such as building a secure base for children, child protection, child development, and identity and loss.
Lu Lu’s foster mother received this support and guidance, which in turn helped the entire family transition through the initial stages while Lu Lu adapted to life in a family structure and environment. She dedicated time and effort to understand Lu Lu and discern his personality, The genuine love and patience of his foster mother has helped Lu Lu has flourish.
Care for Children wants disadvantaged children to have the opportunity to grow up in loving, local families. They work with governments to improve the child welfare system in order to make this goal possible – with the vision of seeing vulnerable children nurtured within a family environment to reach their full potential.
Lu Lu’s story is just one of many whose lives have been changed by being placed in a family. Through the work of Care for Children, these orphans are now being raised with stable, local, loving families in Asia. Lu Lu’s story is just one; they hope to see one million more stories just like his.
“It is my prayer that the work of Care for Children will meet the needs of orphans in their time of distress,” says Glover. “And as we help mobilize grassroots projects to find and support local families to care for them, we play a part in ushering in a new social consciousness in Asia, and in so doing, build God’s Kingdom.”
* All children’s names have been changed.