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Children are placed in orphanages for many reasons, but research shows that poverty is a leading cause.

When provided with appropriate support and access to basic services, many families are able to keep children within their care and avoid unnecessary separation. This is more cost-effective, better for children, and reduces the number of children in orphanages.

Other reasons for orphanage placement include chronic abuse and neglect, abandonment, disability, illness or death of parents, and separation from family during a natural disaster.

It’s important to recognize that high quality residential care may be needed under special circumstances.

In these cases, the best models are “family style” with small numbers of children and consistent caregivers. In addition, every effort should be made to keep placement temporary and to support the transition to family care through reunification, kinship/relative care, or adoption.