Practices of institutional care in Thailand in comparison to the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

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Kanthamanee Ladaphongphatthana
Wiwat Thanapanyaworakun
Andy Lillicrap


This qualitative research studied the comparison between the practices of registered private institutional care facilities in Thailand and the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. Six orphanages in Chiangmai province were selected through quota sampling. Six managers and twelve parents who sent or received their children back from the respective orphanages were selected as key informants for semi-structured in-depth interviews. The study found both the practices aligned and contradicted the guidelines. However, neither the aligned or contrary practices intentionally had the guidelines as thei base. The orphanages with social workers had distinctly better practices aligned to the guidelines in the four areas covered by this study; gatekeeping, individual care plan, family reintegration, and family strengthening. Based on the findings, recommendations are made for the Thai government and individual private orphanages in Thailand to close the gap between current practice and the intention exhibited in the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

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