Where are the Orphanages?
By Mike Hyde, The Webmaster
If you found this page because you were looking for an orphanage somewhere in the United States, I have some news for you. There are thousands of children that are abused, neglected or homeless living in facilities all over the country, but I don’t know of one single place that would be considered an orphanage.
Fact is, there are very few true orphans in the US. Modern health care, plus safety improvements in industry and every other area of modern life has greatly reduced the number of orphans. Additionally, modern communication makes it extremely simple to unite what few orphans there are with their extended families wherever that might be. I have been caring for children for over 20 years and in that time I have only cared for only a few true orphans.
The lack of orphans has done nothing to reduce the need for places that care for children. Though most of the half million children in the foster care system live in foster family homes, there are thousands that live in residential group care, in facilities all over the country. Children live in group care for many reasons, of which only a few include: children have special behavioral or physical needs, there are no foster homes available, or to prevent having to split a large family into several foster homes.
I could go on about the history and evolution of children’s services in America but, you can find out much more by viewing other parts of my site, or by reading one of several books. If you are just looking to help children, I can assure you there are thousands of opportunities.
There are many places that could use your financial support, your time or special skills. Many facilities may have a program where you can be like extended family and provide a place for children to go on holidays and other occasions. Almost all facilities are looking for volunteers of some sort: tutors, teachers, big brothers & sisters, maintenance work, farm work, etc. Many facilities look for volunteers to help with special programs like: life skills training, vocational training, respite care, etc. Many need volunteers for special fundraising events, or help in their thrift stores. Opportunities to help really are endless.
If you want to help contact a facility in your area, or one you have a special interest in. There are over a thousand listed in my directory and that is only a small portion of all the facilities in the country (though I hope to have most of them listed someday). You can also contact your local government agency that oversees children’s services for information on local facilities. I hope you have found this helpful.