Although no longer referred to as orphanages, group homes and institutions are still among the various options many child welfare systems use as placements for children in foster care. Today, these group facilities are called children’s homes, ranches, academies, and villages, and they are viewed as either short-term residential treatment centers or as substitutes for families on a long-term basis.

A Return to Orphanages (2004), a comprehensive report developed with the generous support of the Center for Adoption Research, concludes that despite what is known from research about the highly negative impact of institutional care on children, “orphanages” are likely to remain a placement option for foster children in many communities.


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