In our society, including the Philippines, the question of how to care for vulnerable children has been a topic of ongoing discussion. Orphanages have always played a role in providing shelter and care for children without immediate family support. In the Philippines, there are several orphanages, both goverment funded and foreign-funded.
However, a growing body of research and even biblical teachings suggest that placing children with relatives is often a more favorable option. I have read and reasearched this topic, both from a Biblical perspective and from others’ experiences. One such source was a book by Craig Greenfield, called the Urban Halo.
The Family Bond in the Bible
The Bible is replete with verses that emphasize the importance of family bonds. Proverbs 17:6 states, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” This verse underscores the significance of intergenerational relationships within the family.
Furthermore, the Bible also acknowledges the responsibility of relatives in caring for their own.
1 Timothy 5:8 notes, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
This verse highlights the biblical obligation to care for family members.
Preservation of Family Ties: Placing a child with relatives maintains the connection to their roots and heritage. This sense of belonging can have a profound positive impact on a child’s emotional well-being and identity.
Support System: Relatives often provide a built-in support system that is uniquely tailored to the child’s needs. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins can offer love, care, and guidance in ways that institutions may struggle to replicate.
Stability: Family placements typically offer a more stable environment. A child in a familiar setting with family members is more likely to experience less disruption, leading to better emotional and psychological development.
Religious and Moral Values: For those who value their faith, family placements can ensure that a child is raised within the religious and moral framework of their relatives. This can be essential in fostering a child’s spiritual development.
Studies have also shown that children who remain within the relatives will grow up to be emotionally stronger. Craig Greenfield, whom I mentioned above, has noticed this and commented that even if that child will be better provided in financial matters, a child in a family of relatives grows up stronger and more emotionally balanced.
I would encourage our readers to consider supporting a ministry that thinks in this matter, rather than a traditional orphanage. Although good, home and family care is the best.
Director, Kairos Children’s Fund