The Whole Child Vision
Whole Child International’s mission to elevate the quality of childcare worldwide. We are committed to the application of the most advanced knowledge and sophisticated research to childcare in orphanages, childcare centers, and other limited-resource institutions, implemented on a national level and envisioned on a global scale.
Most childcare institutions, the world over, are run like a factory line, following centuries-old childcare practices that are known for causing tremendous damage to children. Among consequences of current practices is an extremely high incidence of attachment disorder and myriad other crippling developmental problems, all of which result in high levels of juvenile delinquency, victimization, prostitution, gang affiliation, imprisonment, failed adoptions, reinstitutionalization of subsequent generations, and generally the loss of productivity and hope for a satisfying constructive life for some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
A Knowledge Vacuum
Caregivers who work in childcare centers for vulnerable children tend to work in a knowledge vacuum caused by their marginalization in the bottom professional echelon. Thus insulated from scientific developments, and coupled with intense need in the population they serve, caregivers and their administrators adhere to outdated “factory-line” methods for providing care which emphasize efficiency and cleanliness. The results are predictably bleak.
A Need for Our Work across Care Settings
These problems are not limited to orphanages — even children in childcare who live with parents who work long hours have been seen to exhibit disorders stemming from a lack of nurturing, stable caregiving relationships. Yet the situation for children in residential care is significantly worse, partially because orphanages are insulated from resources by many major organizations. Though the numbers of institutionalized children continue to grow globally, the major NGOs systematically withhold from them any available sophisticated interventions out of a desire to see all children living in a family environment.
While Whole Child also wishes that every child could live in a family environment, our response to institutionalization is different (and, unfortunately, unusual): as long as a child remains in institutionalized care, we must reach him or her with best-practice-based care, like any other child, while there is still time. We as an organization believe that providing these children with the minimum necessities for becoming functioning human beings is the right thing to do. We also know that the societal costs of withholding quality care while in the current situation vastly outweigh the costs of our program.
Astonishingly, these problems are relatively easy to correct through the simple methods at right. Whole Child International is one of the only organizations in the world committed to solving these problems in the short term, and helping children in multiple forms of limited-resource group care for as long as the children are there.
Whole Child’s Solution
We know that orphanages and other institutions can be dramatically improved at relatively small cost. Our rigorously evaluated program focuses our work on caregivers, teaching and implementing five basic and essential childcare principles.
Reinforcing Childcare Principles Through Day-to-Day Routines
In this video, a caregiver from the Managua area describes how Whole Child’s program incorporated the principles above into hands-on training and practical support within the childcare setting.