Foster care is now an option for orphaned and vulnerable children living in Peru. In Peru, 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.
This was encouraged by recent studies. Currently, institutionalization is the primary response to orphans and vulnerable children. However, research has been done on the intellectual and emotional needs for children. The research consistently shows that the outcomes for children are much better when children are placed in family environments, such as foster care. Thus, a non-profit Christian organization has dedicated itself to providing vulnerable children with opportunities for optimal growth. On behalf of children and families, this organization advocate for the implementation of foster care programs in Latin American nations.
In the political sphere, Peru Director Claudia Leon Vergara began working in 2007 to implement a foster care program in Peru. In 2008, the program began making foster placements. Since then, forty-four children have been placed in foster care.
Solidifying the foster care program within the legal system will help legitimize the program. This will ultimately protect the program over time. On average, orphans live in institutions for about five years. The agency hopes to significantly increase the number of children placed in foster homes instead of institutions.
According to the agency’s website, other Latin American nations have requested foster care implementation in their countries, too. These include Honduras, Guatemala, Guyana, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Mexico.