Institution that houses children whose parents are deceased or whose whereabouts are unknown. The term is generally considered outmoded in the United States, although it is frequently used to describe institutions abroad, where it is a more accurate term, since the word orphan has a different definition in international adoption.
GROUP HOMES is the phrase used to describe the types of institutionalized residences that usually fulfill this function; however, the group homes of today have smaller numbers of children than did the orphanages, and the children have live-in house parents. Children enter this alternative living arrangement because of a parental inability to control their behavior or because of parental abuse, abandonment or neglect. Many group homes have a therapeutic or treatment component, although they differ from RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTERS.
Some experts believe that group homes would be more efficient and preferable to foster homes. According to an article in the Washington Post, child welfare officials are experiencing great difficulty in recruiting sufficient numbers of foster parents and must send increasing numbers of children to long-term residences.
Some cities are using group nurseries for drug-exposed babies, while others place children with severe emotional or behavioral problems in group homes.
Marcia Slacum Greene, "Rebirth of Orphanages is Reviving Old Fears; In D.C., the Ghost of Junior Village Haunts Talk of New Orphanages," Washington Post, January?9, 1990.
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©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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