Foster Care is now an option for orphaned and vulnerable children living in Peru, a nation where approximately 10,000 children currently dwell in government-run orphanages.
On December 5, the Peruvian congress voted unanimously to add foster care as an official program in Peru.
Research consistently shows that intellectual and emotional outcomes for children are much better when children are placed in family environments, such as foster care, rather than in institutions. To help provide vulnerable children with opportunities for optimal growth, Buckner International–a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to helping orphans, vulnerable children, and families worldwide– has been working to encourage the implementation of foster care programs in Latin American nations, which currently use institutionalization as the primary response to orphans and vulnerable children.
Buckner Peru Director Claudia Leon Vergara began working in 2007 to implement a foster care program in Peru. The program began making foster placements in 2008. Forty-four children have been placed in foster care since that time. Solidifying the foster care program as law will help legitimize and protect the program over time, and Buckner International hopes to significantly increase the number of children placed in foster homes rather than in institutions, where, according to Buckner, the average orphan lives for five years.
Per an article on the Buckner International website, other Latin American nations—-Honduras, Guatamala, Guyana, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Mexico– have requested foster care training and implementation in their countries as well.