Frequently asked questions

  • Are there still orphanages in the UK?
    There are no orphanages in the UK – ie. large scale residential institutions for children. However, the UK does still use residential care for vulnerable children in line with the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children where this is appropriate. The UN Guidelines recognise that some forms of residential care are necessary […]
  • Why does Hope and Homes for Children argue that it’s wrong to volunteer in orphanages?
    We know that in the right circumstances, “voluntourism” (volunteering to work abroad as part of a travel experience) provides significant benefits for both the volunteers and the communities that receive them, but we need to be absolutely clear: volunteering in children’s institutions is a bad idea. What many volunteers do not know is that the […]
  • Are there still children in orphanages in Eastern Europe?
    There are well over a million children in institutional care in Central and Eastern Europe. The shocking pictures of the terrible conditions in orphanages that came to light in the late 1980s and the early 1990s resulted in an enormous amount of aid being donated to the orphanages. However, it wasn’t until recently that some […]
  • Why does Hope and Homes for Children close orphanages?
    Orphanages do not protect children. They harm them. Children in orphanages are often subject to high levels of abuse and neglect. Without family to care for them or friends to play alongside, they live in a world without love. The impact of this can last a lifetime. Some don’t survive at all. 37% percent of […]
  • What is Hope and Homes for Children’s position on safeguarding?
    Safeguarding is central to everything that Hope and Homes for Children exists to do. In February 2018 there were concerns in the press concerning humanitarian workers linked to Oxfam who sexually exploited vulnerable people in crisis zones. This was deeply distressing and points to a betrayal of the very people all our organisations exist to […]
  • What is the alternative to orphanages?
    High quality family-based care has been proven to provide far better outcomes for children and communities and is more cost effective than orphanages. With the right support children who live in orphanages can be safely and successfully returned to their birth families or extended families; they can join loving foster families or, if they are […]
  • Can’t families also be dangerous places for children, for example if they are subjected to abuse or neglect?
    Yes, and children’s safety is of course our first priority, but in finding alternative care for children the aim should always be to ensure that they continue to grow-up in a family environment, for example with members of their extended family or with foster parents, and not in orphanages.
  • How many people does Hope and Homes for Children employ in the UK and overseas?
    47 in the UK and 150 overseas (paid full-time equivalent)
  • How many volunteers do you have in the UK?
    In the UK, we have volunteers working at the head office in Salisbury as well as a network of volunteers across the UK who are raising funds and awareness of our work. The number of volunteers is growing all the time and at the minute we have 8 Support Groups and 32 volunteer speakers, plus […]
  • Can I volunteer to work for Hope and Homes for Children abroad?
    We do not have any volunteering opportunities in our projects overseas as we employ local people and use local expertise or work through local partners. By using local people and skills we help to ensure that our projects are sustainable in the long term. More generally, Hope and Homes for Children does not support the […]
  • Can I volunteer for Hope and Homes for Children in the UK?
    We are often looking for volunteers to help us in the UK. Giving your time, enthusiasm and skills makes a valuable contribution towards our work. We have volunteering opportunities for people to set up or join a Local Support Group, be a Volunteer Speaker and speak on our behalf at community events, or provide fundraising […]
  • We would like to visit one of your projects, is this possible?
    We arrange a very limited number of visits to our programmes every year in order not to deplete the resources of our country teams and to protect the privacy of the children and families we serve. We can  register your interest in taking part in a trip but we cannot guarantee that an opportunity will […]
  • How is the fundraising of Hope and Homes for Children regulated?
    Hope and Homes for Children is a registered charity (number 1089490) and as such is regulated by the Charity Commission in England and Wales and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) in Scotland. The Charity Commission is responsible for establishing charitable status, taking enforcement action when there is malpractice or misconduct and ensuring […]
  • How much money did Hope and Homes for Children raise last year?
    In 2018 Hope and Homes for Children raised £9.1 million
  • Where does your income come from?
    Our income comes from a diverse range of sources which minimises the risk of relying too heavily on a limited number of funders. 30% of our income for the year ending 31 December 2018 came from charitable trusts and foundations, 12% from individuals, 24% from corporate donors, 16% from fundraising activities and events, 1% from […]
  • How much of your income is from the UK and how much from other places?
    Of our total income for 2018 of £9.1 million, 79% was raised in the UK with the balance of 21% being raised overseas.  
  • Why do you ask people to make regular gifts?
    We ask people to make regular gifts to Hope and Homes for Children so that we have a steady and predictable income which gives us the security and confidence to make long term plans and ensure that we help as many children as possible. Giving regularly by Direct Debit is also the most cost effective […]
  • Can I sponsor an individual child?
    Hope and Homes for Children does not operate a child sponsorship scheme. The majority of the children we work with are extremely vulnerable and often need their identities protected. Therefore a sponsorship scheme would not be appropriate. Additionally, child sponsorship schemes have high administration costs and are very time consuming and labour intensive for overseas […]
  • Can I send clothes, toys etc directly to you, to be used in your projects?
    Hope and Homes for Children is unable to accept donated goods to send overseas. Experience has shown that accepting these types of donations is not cost effective, creates logistical difficulties and is often not the most relevant way to meet local needs. Wherever possible, Hope and Homes for Children buys goods as close as possible […]
  • Am I able to select which country my donation goes to?
    We don’t encourage restricting donations to a particular country because it is important that we are able to channel funds to projects/countries as and when they need them, however if you are very keen to support our work in a specific country, we will make sure this happens.
  • How can donors be sure money actually reaches project beneficiaries?
    Hope and Homes for Children sends funds to overseas projects against an agreed itemised budget on a quarterly basis. Each country programme submits regular finance reports to our office in the UK. Additionally, UK staff visit country programmes regularly and budgetary issues are always discussed. As in the UK, external auditors also audit each overseas […]
  • What proportion of your expenditure goes directly on your work to help children? 
    In our latest published accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018, we spent £3m on fundraising, and £9.3m on our charitable activities. Over recent years we have been investing in our fundraising in order to help more children. As a result, our expenditure on our charitable activities has grown from £5.9m in 2011.
  • Why are you talking to us and not the UK Government?
    Hope and Homes for Children and our partners have been working with the UK Government for the last four years, with the result that in February 2019, the UK Governments largest funding mechanism for developing countries, UK Aid Direct, clearly stated in its latest funding guidance, “UK Aid Direct will not fund Orphanages and children’s […]
  • How many children has Hope and Homes for Children helped since it began?
    In terms of orphanage closures and prevention programmes, over 174,000 children and their family members have directly benefited from our work since we began in 1994. In the same period 59,115 people have taken part in our training programmes. [Accurate to end of December 2019]
  • What is the cost per child?
    On average it costs £1,200 to support a child in our programmes (this is an average figure across our programmes and assumes that on average we work with a child for one year).
  • Do you try to collaborate with other international NGOs (Non Governmental Organisations)?
    Yes. Across the world, Hope and Homes for Children is working in partnership with national governments, civil society organisations, international agencies, human rights bodies, institutional and private donors, the faith community, academia, practitioners and committed individuals to help build the global movement that’s needed to put an end to institutional care and replace it with […]
  • Do you have plans to expand your work into any other countries?
    Our mission is to be the catalyst for the global elimination of institutional care for children and this is not something we can do alone. Using our regional hubs, we are expanding our influence by supporting likeminded organisations to build their technical capacity to deliver the transition from institutional care to family and community based […]
  • As you’re called Hope and Homes for Children, shouldn’t you just be helping children and not young adults?
    The young adults we help are vulnerable young adults or older children who have grown up in institutions or Small Family Homes. In Romania the state is responsible for a person until the age of 26, so all young adults up to this age are children. Also, in the wider context of our work in […]
  • Why are you not helping the orphans from countries like Iraq and Syria that we see on the TV?
    Hope and Homes for Children is not a humanitarian aid agency. A large amount of funds are available for humanitarian aid in crisis and conflict situations and many other charities specialise in this field. Hope and Homes for Children tends to work in countries after the immediate crisis or conflict is over in order to […]
  • At what point do you stop taking responsibility for the children?
    We develop an individual care plan for every child that we work with. This sets out a path that will lead to each child either living with a family or in a family-type environment or living independently.The timescale will vary according to the individual needs of each child It can occasionally mean addressing specific needs […]
  • What do you mean by “prevention” and why is that an important part of your work?
    Our work to support families and so prevent children being abandoned to orphanages, is absolutely fundamental to the work of Hope and Homes for Children. Our model for deinstitutionalisation  is not solely about moving children out of institutions; it also involves supporting families so they can stay together and creating the services that ensure children […]
  • What is a Small Family Home (sometimes also referred to as a Small Group Home) and why are they necessary?
    Generally, this is a place that provides a safe, family-type environment for the short, medium or long-term care of children, depending on the individual needs and best interests, of a maximum of 12 children and young adults who cannot be reunited with their families or placed in foster care. Often, these are children with disabilities […]
  • What systems does Hope and Homes for Children have in place to ensure that children are well cared for by their foster parents or in Small Family Homes?
    Hope and Homes for Children takes very seriously each child’s right to be protected from all forms of violence, abuse and neglect, enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 19). For this reason we have a Child Protection Policy which sets out our expectations for all Hope and Homes for Children staff, […]
  • What happens to the children once they get older, do they stay living in the Small Family Home? 
    Most children living in Small Family Homes have a high degree of special needs and, unless specialist foster care can be found for them, it is likely that they will stay living in the Small Family House permanently
  • What does it cost to buy/build a Small Family Home? Could our club/company/school raise money for one?
    The cost varies depending on the differing countries. Small Family Homes or any other properties are only bought/built in conjunction with an institution closure and only when an assessment has been carried out as to which children need to be moved to live in of these types of homes. In general, we advise against fundraising […]
  • What is a Community Hub?
    A thorough census of local circumstances and standard of living enabled us to develop Community Hubs in very deprived communities, to support service delivery and enable us to scale up the impact of our interventions. The Community Hubs are resource centres for the entire community, sustainable at local level and providing specialised services as required. […]
  • What is Hope and Homes for Children’s attitude to international adoption?
    Hope and Homes for Children does not support inter-country adoption. While such adoptions can give children the opportunity to enjoy family life and a number of benefits not available to them in their country of origin, it exposes children to significant risks and should not be considered on the same basis as domestic adoptions. Many […]
  • What impact is the Brexit decision likely to make to your work?
    The June 2016 referendum vote in favour of leaving the European Union does not change the fact that there are some eight million children confined to orphanages and other institutions around the world and that their situation remains intolerable. Our mission, to be the catalyst for the global eradication of institutional care of children, remains […]
  • How does the current global economic situation affect your work overseas?
    The downturn that followed the banking crash in 2009 has led to increasing numbers of families reaching crisis point and more children being abandoned or placed in orphanages, leading to an even greater need for our work. Families and children have also been affected by cuts to public sector budgets, particularly in Central and Eastern […]
  • Don’t you think you’re wasting your time in Africa, as the problem is so big?
    Our vision is a world where children no longer suffer orphanage care and our mission is to be the catalyst for the elimination of orphanages everywhere. We know from experience that children can be moved out of orphanages and that the systems can be created that remove the need for these kinds of institutions. We […]
  • How do you prove the success of your work in Africa in terms of sustainable outcomes for children?
      ·       Through the use of our family support programme, assessing families at the outset so that we know what their situation is and what would be the best outcome for them following our intervention. Money/resources are not wasted and teams can go straight to the problem. ·       Using local volunteers who know their communities […]