Studies of orphans worldwide consistently lay bare the inadequacy of mass scale care for children. Commodities like food, shelter and medicine are vital, and can often be effectively delivered by the machinery of governments and NGOs. But that same machinery proves utterly insufficient to meet the deeper needs for love, nurture, and belonging. Though sometimes necessary as short-term solutions, even brief stints in orphanages affect everything from a child’s physical size and mental health to her intellect.
We see the same in the U.S. foster system. By their mid-20s, less than half of those who graduate from foster care are employed. More than 80 percent of males have been arrested, compared to 17 percent overall. And 68 percent of the women are on food stamps, compared to 7 percent overall.