The child-caring institution is a third facility that offers total substitute care
for the child whose parents cannot and/or will not implement their parental role.
The foster home is a temporary facility; the adoptive home, a permanent one.
Both provide the child with family care. The institution, like the foster home,
provides temporary substitute care; like the adoptive home, it can offer permanent care; but unlike either, it offers group care rather than family care.A children's institution
is defined as a twenty-four-hour residential facility in
which a group of unrelated children live together in the care of a group of unrelated adults. Mayer,
Balcerzak ( 1977) define an institution as "one or more
buildings especially established for the purpose of housing and caring for groups
of children (fifteen or more) who cannot live with their families. It may be located either within or without a residential community" (p. 52
). This definition
helps distinguish an institution from a group home, which generally has not been
specifically established to care for children, generally houses less than fifteen
children (more frequently six to twelve), and is always located in a residential
community.There are many different kinds of institutions serving different kinds of children. Among them are the following:
|1. ||Institutions for normal but dependent and neglected children. This is
the closest modern analogy to the old orphan asylum.|
|2. ||Institutions for physically handicapped children. These are separate institutions for children who are blind, deaf, crippled, asthmatic, and so on.|
|3. ||Institutions for mentally retarded or mentally defective children.|
|4. ||Institutions for the confinement and rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents.
These are often called training schools.|
|5. ||Institutions for emotionally disturbed children; these are known as residential treatment centers.|
There are other institutions that do not necessarily serve a special population
of children but that are distinguished by their special purpose. These include: