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NO child should grow up alone

November 21st, 2017

1 in 10 children worldwide are growing up alone

Invest in family care to create ‘Care Effect’, says SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages estimates that 220 million children, 1 in 10 of the world’s two billion children, grow up without the loving care of a parent or stand at risk of losing it. Given the severe consequences of inadequate care for the development of children, the organisation recommends increased investment in supporting family care for children in vulnerable circumstances.

“All of us share a common concern for the critical situation of the child who has no one. I have seen first-hand the positive impact that quality family-like care has on a child’s life. It creates the ‘Care Effect’, a virtuous circle that actually makes the world a better place,” said CEO Norbert Meder.

On November 20, Universal Children’s Day, SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest non-governmental organisation focused on supporting children without parental care and families at risk, stresses the importance of a loving family for children. Without the loving care of a parent or other adult caregiver, children are less likely to develop the skills they need to become contributing members of society, says the organisation.

Expert insight summarised in a new report from SOS Children’s Villages entitled ‘The Care Effect’ shows that children who do not receive the love and care they need struggle to achieve their potential. They do less well at school, and have trouble focusing and developing social skills. Later in life, they are also more prone to depression and substance abuse, leading to higher rates of attempted suicide. They do not develop the resilience to cope with inevitable adversity. And University of California Los Angeles Professor Allan Schore, an expert in developmental neuroscience, has shown that the size of the brain is influenced by a lack of love.

This not only affects children, but society as a whole. Millions of children end up in poverty, become involved in crime or experience unemployment because no one cares for them or believes in their potential.

The Care Effect

Providing a family for more than 80,000 children and young people around the world, the organisation has learned from experience that it is possible to create a ‘Care Effect’. The newly-released report concludes that “if we provide care for today’s children in vulnerable circumstances, giving them the foundation they need for learning and developing life skills, we stand a better chance of meeting the [UN-endorsed Sustainable Development Goals] and building a better future for the world”.

Their claim is supported by the Center on the Developing Child (Harvard University), which has reported that every dollar invested in early childhood development returns $4 to $9 to society.

With a moving video created from children’s and families’ home videos from around the world, and championed through a Thunderclap social media campaign by International Ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages and Belgian professional footballer, Vincent Kompany, the organisation emphasises its claim that ‘no child should grow up alone’.

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