The Problem with Orphanages and Other Institutions - Lumos Skip to page content

The Problem with Orphanages and Other Institutions

Children belong in families,
not orphanages

More than 80 years of research proves that no matter how well an orphanage is run, children cannot thrive there.


Raising children in an orphanage or other institution harms their health and development. It increases their exposure to abuse and puts them at risk of future criminal activity.

Children in orphanages are isolated. 

They are isolated from their families and their communities. They are often hidden behind walls and segregated. 

Even when orphanages and institutions are set up with good intentions, care is tailored to the needs of the institution, not the child. Staff struggle to cope with high numbers of children, particularly those with complex needs. Physical contact, care and attention become a luxury.

Good care has the child’s needs at its heart – whether that’s in a family or a family-like setting. 

Stories from Families Lumos Has Helped