Children’s home is an institution that cares for homeless children. Such institutions are often called orphanages, especially in Eastern Europe, Asia, and less developed countries. Religious groups and government agencies provide funds for many children’s homes.
Children cared for in a children’s home may be left alone after both their parents die. Others may be abandoned by their parents because of poverty, or may be removed from their homes because of neglect or abuse. Some children may be homeless because their parents do not want the responsibility of rearing them.
Many child welfare specialists in Western countries try to place children with foster families instead of in children’s homes. These authorities believe that children should live in a family environment. Also, supporting children in foster families costs less than caring for them in children’s homes. The parents in a foster family volunteer to care for a child in their own home while a permanent adoptive family is sought for the child.
If a foster home or adoptive parent is not available, authorities may place a child in a group home or residential school rather than in a children’s home. In a group home, a professional staff cares for a small number of children. Residential schools are institutions at which children both live and attend classes.