Project #13517

Orphans into families in Asia: China & Thailand

by Care for Children
Learning the importance of teamwork
Learning the importance of teamwork

This update focuses on our work in Thailand.  The last few months have been slightly unsettling for the Thailand team. The death of the King of Thailand has deeply affected the whole country with a year of mourning put in place.  It has also affected the team’s training schedule both for this year and next year.  The government has advised the general public not to set any calendar plans for 2017 in stone, as there will be revisions made to public holidays.

The team has also had to cancel a workshop in the south of Thailand due to heightened violence in the region.  As one of the training team explains:  

“I am realising more and more how flexible we need to be, and I appreciate how the people of Thailand are so good at it.  At the beginning of this week we talked about our trip to the south to train the last three child welfare homes, to complete phase one of our training. The day after we booked tickets, we received a call from one of the homes that the situation in the south is not safe, so it would be best for us not to come. There has been ongoing unrest in the southern-most regions of the country, and this week there have been bombs and people killed. Even those living there, as residents, feel afraid to go out. Several roads that the participating homes would travel on to attend the training have been closed, and we do not want to put them at risk.”

Even with all these unsettling events, the Thai team is keen to continue the roll-out of the national foster care project, with the goal of reaching all 20 government run child welfare homes across the country, ensuring they can start moving children out of the institution and into local families.  

In other news, the team recently spent time with with an NGO that operates a small children’s home in a town along the Burmese border.  With the aim of reunifying all the children with their families or alternatively identifying foster families for them, the team introduced family placement to the staff from the NGO.  The staff will also spend some time with a family placement worker from one of our sites who has had over 20 years of experience as a foster parent and family placement worker.

Using alternative training methods
Using alternative training methods
Training takes place in a relaxed environment
Training takes place in a relaxed environment
A Thai foster family
A Thai foster family

We have just completed a three year evaluation of our projects in China and Thailand and want to share a few highlights and reflections with you…

The creation of a new set of core training materials that are tailor made for Thailand, and adhere to international standards, is one of Care for Children’s most accomplished achievements over the last three years!  We were able to draw from our wealth of experience working cross-culturally between the UK and China and to adapt this experience to the Thai context.  No other organisation in the past in Thailand has achieved this outcome in the field of foster care, so it really is a pioneering achievement.

In China, we have we have trained 1,629 staff from 406 care institutions.  This has equipped them to recruit, assess and train foster carers in the local community, as well as place, support and monitor children as they move into families.

“I saw a real change in the staff after they attended the training on foster care with Care for Children.  They were much more aware of the importance of placing children in families and they had a deeper understanding of how important it is for children to grow up as part of a family rather than living in an institution.” Care Institution Director, Thailand

“When I started my job, the process of foster care was not clear. We now use the knowledge we have learnt from Care for Children to adapt our jobs, for example, screening families, establishing emergency foster families, collecting more detailed information, as well as observing children’s behaviour.  We now have a clear standard.” Care Staff, Thailand

“I had no idea about fostering before the workshop, and I even thought that fostering is not suitable for middle and small cities.  However, the training completely changed my thoughts. In my future work I will do my best to promote fostering.” Care Staff, China

“I didn’t realise that the child needs to know his identity before the workshop.  Now I understand why we should tell him who he is, why he is here, and where he belongs, in ways that are acceptable and appropriate for him.” Care Staff, China

“We wanted foster children because we love children, and now we are retired we are available.  The children have bought new warmth into our family. We love them very much because we are with them all the time.  We have experienced a lot of positive things by fostering.  For us personally, we are not lonely anymore.  We see that the children need someone to rely on and we can help them.” Foster parent, Thailand

“Bringing him into our family has made us like a mother and son.  It’s not hard.  I love him like my own child.  I want him to grow up to be a good person.  I want him to have a good job, a good future.  My husband loves him very much.  Everybody accepts him.” Foster parent, Thailand

We are now at an exciting juncture in our goal of transforming child welfare systems across Asia, with our projects in China and Thailand entering new phases.  In Thailand, the next stage will see us roll-out our pioneering work nationwide with a strategic programme to introduce foster care to all state-run care institutions.  In China, the challenge now is to ensure sustainability. Therefore, some of the care institutions we’ve been working with will become local or regional training hubs.  Once fully trained, they will be able to provide training in best practice family placement to other care institutions across the country as we gradually reduce our involvement.

Any small donation you can give towards this work will be hugely beneficial and will make a big impact to the lives of the children.

Thank you again for staying connected with our work. 

A Chinese foster family
A Chinese foster family
Care for Children Family Placement Conference
Care for Children Family Placement Conference

This year has seen growth, change and momentum build in all our project sites.

After hosting a successful Family Placement Conference in Beijing, China we look to move into a new season. China is entering a new project phase (Preparation for independence), which will focus on establishing five strategically located cities as pillars of best practice/training hubs for their respective regions. This is the third stage of our project methodology and it will allow us to offer a more deeper and advanced level of training which is a more innovative and strategic approach to advancing our family placement across China. 

In Thailand, we are developing a strategic programme to introduce foster care to all government run orphanages (National rollout stage), which will further facilitate and influence a national shift towards family-based care. We currently partner with 15 which will increase to 20 by the end of the year!  We will also publish our Thai training materials later this year making them accessible to organisations across Thailand.  

Our team have just completed a research project to Vietnam, which, although official reports have not been written up, has been fed back as a huge success! We are now in a better place to understand the need  in Vietnam and how we can meet that with the launch of a Pilot Project (stage one) in the near future! 

In Thailand, we are financially supporting up to 330 children in families with $24,250 still to raise this month. Alongside our family allowances our in-country teams have very busy training schedules with a goal of training 600 people this year! The average cost of a training workshop for 60 people is $25,700

The end of the year sees us host an international study visit to the UK which will cost up to $42,800. 

With the amazing start to the year we hope to continue this momentum as we head into our final six months. We appreciate these are big costs but any small donation you can give towards our project will be hugely beneficial and have impact on the many children we have the privaledge to serve. 

Thank you again for staying connected with our work. 

Our team visiting foster families
Our team visiting foster families
A smiley foster boy with his mother
A smiley foster boy with his mother

We finished 2015 with some huge accomplishments. These include the traning of 706 people in family placement, financially supporting 1250 children back in families and continuing our partnership with two nations.
Towards the end of the year we hosted two events on behalf of Care for children. The first was 'One Day for Orphans' in Chiang Mai, Thailand and the second was our Christmas Fundraising Ball in London. Both gathered an influential guest list around caring for the orphan. It was a great way to end the year!

As we look ahead to 2016, there are many exciting activities planned as we progress with our work in Asia. We want to share some of those with you:

In April we will host the Family First National Conference in Beijing where leaders of governments from around Asia will gather to learn more about our model and the importance of family care. The theme for the conference is ‘The journey to permanence’. 

After three years, we will complete our national foster care research project in China – the first of its kind, and commissioned by the Chinese government. 

The Thai project will publish their new, culturally relevant, government-endorsed Thai Training materials after two years of developing them.

The new National Foster Care Project in Thailand will accelerate from 5 project sites to 15 throughout the country.

We will host international study visits and learning exchange programmes for orphanage staff and government delegates, expanding their understanding and vision for the future of child welfare in their own countries.  

Our Founder and Executive Director, Robert Glover OBE will receive an honorary doctorate from Nyack College, New York in May.

In November we will gather influential leaders from around the world in America for our third annual event: One Day for Orphans.

In China, we aim to help place an estimated 9,800 children into families and train 500 people in family placement care.  

In Thailand, we aim to financially support up to 330 children in families, and train over 100 orphanage and government staff in family placement to place ‘000s more children into families.

We will continue to make progress to launch new projects in Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia, starting with our research trip to Vietnam this year. This will open up the opportunity to help hundreds of thousands of more vulnerable children.


New video from China, "The Village":

In September 2015 Care for Children's Founder and Executive Director took a group to visit a remarkable village near Kunming, China where 53 families have welcomed 166 children into their foster homes. We have just released this video to capture some of the storyand you can find the link at the end of this report.


Care for Children staff trial new training materials across Thailand:

Meanwhile in Thailand, following the signing of our new three-year agreement with the Thai Government earlier this year, we have launched the National Foster Care Project, beginning with four new project sites to test the national training materials that were developed during the pilot project stage. The training team has travelled to deliver on-site training, as well as hosted national workshops at our new Training & Resource Centre. We plan to publish the training materials by Spring next year, after which 10 more sites will be added to the project, taking the total to 15. It’s exciting to see our work gaining national momentum. 



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Organization Information

Care for Children

Location: Norwich, Norfolk - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
James Paul
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province Thailand

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