STATEMENT - 30 January 2024

SOS Children's Villages International reduces staff in its General Secretariat

SOS Children's Villages International’s General Secretariat - the central coordinating body that provides support and services to more than 130 member associations from its international office in Austria and regional offices across the globe is taking urgent measures to address financial constraints.

Continued increase in expenses due to inflation and challenges in key fundraising markets are major factors. The global financial insecurities and expected slowdowns in growth have disproportionately hit non-profit sector organizations relying on donations. SOS Children’s Villages and several of its member associations across the world are struggling with budgetary constraints to continue its important work of supporting children without, or at risk of losing, parental care. 

Unfortunately, this also means significant reductions in the total General Secretariat budget. Non-personnel measures taken so far are insufficient to bridge the financial gap, therefore requiring global staff reductions across our offices in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  Approximately 100 jobs will be lost, of which about 40 are based in Austria. As of 1 January 2024, the General Secretariat of SOS Children’s Villages International employed 694 people, of which 287 were based in Austria. 

“I recognize that the measures we are taking are painful for the staff affected.  Our colleagues bring outstanding commitment, skills, and professionalism to their jobs, and I extend my heartfelt appreciation for their contributions. We will do our utmost to remain focused on supporting our national member associations' ability to carry out their vital work for children without parental care. The well-being of children remains our top priority” – said Ingrid Johansen, CEO of SOS Children's Villages International.   

All measures comply fully with the legal requirements in each jurisdiction where SOS Children’s Villages International operates. In Austria we are cooperating with the local Staff Council on how best to support Austria-based staff. As a responsible employer we aim to address the social challenges which are connected to this situation.


About SOS Children's Villages    

SOS Children's Villages, founded in 1949, is the world's largest non-governmental organization focused on supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it.    

 Child neglect, abuse, and abandonment are everywhere. Families are at risk of separation. Locally led, we work in more than 130 countries and territories to strengthen families who are under pressure so they can stay together. When this is not in a child or young person's best interests, we provide quality care according to their unique needs.       

Together with partners, donors, communities, children, young people, and families, we enable children to grow up with the bonds they need to develop and become their strongest selves. We speak up for each child's rights and advocate for change so all children can grow up in a supportive environment. 

SOS Children’s Villages International is structured as a federation of national member associations, working together towards reaching the federation’s strategic goals, sharing resources and expertise.  Each SOS Children's Villages association is committed to applying the federation's statutes, programme standards, and stringent safeguarding, financial and administrative practices. 

SOS Children's Villages International's General Secretariat, with offices in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, coordinates and manages the federation’s day-to-day operations. The Secretariat provides services to member associations, develops and monitors federation quality standards, and represents the federation in international communications and forums.

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