We believe children should grow up with their families. The UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children
, to which SOS Children’s Villages made key contributions, also stress this.
Yet sometimes, despite every effort to care for their children, families break down and it is in the child's best interest to be placed in alternative care. At SOS Children's Villages, we believe family-based care is the best option.
With the help of sponsors, donors and community partners, SOS Children's Villages builds SOS families for children who have lost parental care. In a family home, children grow up with an SOS mother or SOS parents, and sisters and brothers. SOS aunts support SOS mothers in caring for their children. In turn, SOS families are part of supportive communities made up of several SOS families. These communities are called SOS Children's Villages.
SOS families provide individualised care and promote the development, education and health of each child. Girls and boys of different ages live together. Every effort is made to keep biological siblings together.
Usually, SOS families live close together so that they can share experiences and assist each other. This network of mutual support is important even where SOS families are dispersed within a community or city. A caring and supportive environment is created, which is especially important for children who need special support and protection.