Model for Children in Orphanages
An orphanage is a terrible place to raise a child.
But in some countries, orphanages are still the primary destination for children who have been separated from their families. OneSky’s Model for Children in Orphanages is far from a perfect solution but, until de-institutionalization becomes the norm, it provides orphaned and abandoned children a family-like home. Today, OneSky’s model is China’s national standard for the care of institutionalized children. At its heart are three simple, replicable programs that offer young children the responsive care and loving attention they need in order to thrive:
Infant Nurture Program
Women from the local community are trained to provide nurturing, responsive care and stimulation for orphaned babies and toddlers. Attentive to the tremendous gains infants make in the early years of life – physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually – each nanny is assigned 3-4 babies and treats them as her very own.
Experienced early childhood educators are taught a unique and progressive curriculum that blends responsive care and some elements of Italy’s Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education with local kindergarten standards. The program is designed to prepare the children to develop intellectual curiosity and a love of learning, succeed in community schools, and attain the positive sense of self so often missing in institutionalized children.
Married couples who have already raised a family but still have room in their hearts are recruited from the local community to provide permanent loving foster homes for children whose physical, emotional or cognitive challenges are likely to preclude their adoption. Children who would otherwise spend their lives in institutional care, grow up knowing the love of a family while also receiving the special care that our early intervention programs provide.