The most commonly understood definition of the term “orphan” usually describes a child whose parents are deceased. However, today, a variety of situations may cause children to be living without their parents. An increasing number of children are withdrawn from homes due to neglect and abuse. According to the most recent National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, an estimated 1.25 million children have experienced maltreatment in the United States. Other circumstances that may lead to removal include, but not limited to, parental drug or alcohol abuse, parental inability to cope due to a physical or emotional illness, or other disabling conditions that adversely affect the parent’s ability to care for the child. Children may also enter foster/orphanage care due to abandonment or parent incarceration. Although some children may be adopted by grandparents or other relatives, most children are placed through the foster care system or state facilities. For children who are no longer cared for by their parents, their living arrangements may include foster care, kinship care, congregate care, legal guardianship or adoption.
BOYS AND GIRLS VILLAGE
Boys & Girls Village is one of Connecticut’s leading providers for at risk youth and their families. The programs provide a safe, nurturing, therapeutic environment with satellite programs in Waterbury and Brideport. The children and adolescents come from 50 different communities around the state and range in age from 3-18 years old. Boys & Girls Village provides counseling and clinical and educational programs to help families heal, learn and grow. AORF has partnered with Boys & Girls Village to supply much needed over the counter hygiene supplies to clients in the counseling, residential and foster care programs.
In the state of Connecticut, children under 18 years of age account for more than 25% of the total population, with more than 60,000 children living with neither parent. Statistics show that in 2010, over 2,400 children have entered substitute care and over 4,700 children are still in substitute care. Substitute care usually refers to cases in which children are in out-of-home placement such as foster care, kinship care, group homes, or another type of institution. As of 2010, over 1,300 children in public foster care were waiting to be adopted.
As seen by the aforementioned statistics, orphans are a highly vulnerable population, especially those who may have been traumatized by neglect/abuse, death/separation from parents, or termination of their parents’ parental rights. Those who have experienced neglect or abuse are exceptionally vulnerable and often require special care and attention.
The goal of Aid for Orphans Relief Foundation is to assess continuously the needs of orphaned children in the state of Connecticut, and then to create opportunities to obtain financial and in-kind donations. In this way we can carry out our mission of improving the health of orphans and children at risk.
In 2013, AORF selected Boys and Girls Village Inc. in Connecticut and are now supplying over the counter hygiene products.