Alternative care

Photographer: Fasika Asrat

We work to provide quality alternative care for children who can no longer live with their parents. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of care in all our programmes and work with governments and communities to improve alternative child care systems.

An estimated 1-in-10 children in the world do not have a stable, secure and loving home. Some 140 million children have lost one or both parents. Even more children are deprived of the care they need to develop by generational poverty, social exclusion, disease, armed conflicts, violence in the family, and other causes.

We believe that, whenever possible, children should grow up with their biological families. Despite the best efforts of authorities and the intervention of our family strengthening, family breakdown is sometimes unavoidable.

At such times, children need suitable alternative care until the family circumstances improve enough for them to return home. Children who no longer have a living parent require long-term quality alternative care and support to allow them to develop into independent adults.

We promote and are guided by the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care for Children to which we made key contributions. In line with the guidelines, we draw on our wealth of experience to provide and support a range of alternative care settings, because different children, different cultures, and different situations call for different care options.

Types of alternative care supported by SOS Children's Villages
  • Family care for every child

    Every child deserves to grow up in a loving home. SOS Children's Villages has provided quality alternative care in a family environment for over 65 years. We always put the needs, individual development and best interest of each child at the centre of our work. More 
  • Promoting standards of care

    Promoting standards of care

    We promote and ensure quality alternative care. We work with governments, care professionals and partners to help ensure that children's rights are fulfilled and every child has the best, most suitable care. More