Children in institutional care are more likely to suffer from poor health, physical underdevelopment and deterioration in brain growth. So why does the use of institutional care remain a worldwide phenomenon?

November 2009


Experts estimate that there are at least 2.2 million children growing up in institutional care around the world.

This is occurring despite wide recognition that children growing up in institutions have reduced intellectual, social and behavioural abilities compared with children growing up in a family home.

This report looks at:

  • The reasons for institutional care and relative costs.
  • The physical and psychological harm caused to children by being in institutional care, and the long-term effects of this.
  • Ways forward: how to move children out of institutional care and prevent new admissions.


PDF icon The Risk of Harm to Young Children in Institutional Care (English)383.44 KB