Priorities in Response to Orphan Need, CAFO
The Christian Alliance for Orphans has an excellent document that I encourage every Orphan Care advocate to read. In case you are wondering what I feel about the content of the document, I fully agree with the spirit and letter of the article and think it would be very helpful to every student of orphan care.
Below, I show a section of the document. You will do well to read the entire document.
The Christian Alliance for Orphans affirms the historic Christian understanding—conveyed in Scripture and affirmed by social science—that God intended the family as the essential environment for children. We believe the ideal outcome for every orphan is to know the love and nurture of a permanent family.
Our world’s brokenness at times makes this goal unattainable. Thus, alternative forms of care are sometimes necessary. This reality calls us to affirm two seemingly opposing truths at the same time.
First, that amidst the deeply painful and complex situations facing orphans around the globe, there are times when care outside of a permanent family may be the best that can be attained. This can be especially true in countries in which war, disease or other factors have done great harm to the fabric of society…
Second, that the need for triage measures should not obscure the ideal or diminish our pursuit of it. This includes:
1) Preserving Families. We must work to aid widow-and-orphan and widower-and orphan families, as well as other families at risk of disintegration. This includes offering opportunities and support that enable these families to remain safely intact, and also providing the community and other resources to help them thrive.
2) Reuniting Families. Whenever it can be done safely and responsibly, we must work to rejoin in a timely manner families that have been sundered by war, natural disaster, poverty or other crises, including situations where children have been temporarily placed in residential/congregate care—and provide the community supports and other resources to help these families thrive.
3) Expanding Families. When birth parents have died, or are unwilling or unable to provide adequate care even with outside support, we must work to place orphans in permanent, loving families—and provide the community and other resources to help these families thrive.