What is a children’s home?(I share my story)

青葉学園@福島

Sometimes I hear it on the news, but what kind of place is a children’s home?

This article is for someone who want to know about children’s home. 

Confirming the objective number, you’ll find the real children’s home that is different from the image you have.

For example, how often they meet their parents or how long they live in that children’s home. 

I hope you will watch through this video till the end and deepen your understanding about children’s home.


What is a children’s home?

Briefly, it’s a kind of dormitory that is consisted with children from the age of 2-18.

I’ll tell you what kind of children are living there, later.

If you have an experience living in a dormitory, it’s easy to imagine that there are some differences, such as the size of the building, private rooms or sharing rooms and the capacity of the people available for the facility. 

So, you can tell each facility has its own rules and the capacity is different from one another.


There are 615 children’s homes  in Japan (Example of a report on welfare administration, March 2017).  Now, about 30000 children are living there. 

 Children’s homes are managed based on Social Welfare Act. We call them different names depends on the size of the facilities.


At the end of 2018, 70% of the children who need social care,  live in children’s home. 


MEMO
On the other hand, under national policy, “Home-style nurturing” ( To let children be nurtured in a healthy way, both body and mind and to promote nurturing in a more family-like environment.) is established as a policy. Foster care system and living in a “group home” with fewer people is going to be a big trend instead of living in big facilities with many people together.

Anyway, at this time, children’s home is like a dormitory consisted with people with different family names and live in a group. 


(I share my story)Why do children come to the facilities?

What kind of reasons do they have?

From the conclusion, because they/their 1, were abused by his/her parents. 2, have no parents. 3, parents are unable to raise them.

Children who should be protected is decided by Child Welfare Act.

Article 41 Orphanages abuse children without parents (excluding babies, but including babies if there is a particular need to ensure a stable living environment or for other reasons. The same shall apply hereinafter in this article). The facility is intended to accommodate children who are being babies and other children who need environmental care, to care for them, and to provide consultations and other independence assistance to those who have left the facility.

Child Welfare Act (Act No. 164 of 1947)

Now, about 30000 children come to the facilities because of reasons below.

Top 10 reasons 2018
1)Mother’s noninterference
2)Mother’s mental illness
3)Abused or overused by their mothers
4)Abused or overused by their fathers
5)Others
6)Child neglect
7)Bankruptcy, financial reason
8)Difficulty of custody because of children’s problem
9)Constraint by mother
10)Mother missing

Q: Outline of investigation of children entering the children’s Training Facility (February 1st, 2018)  The children’s Family Bureau of the MHLW, The Department of Disabilities and Health on welfare, Social Assistance Bureau, MHLW

つづいて、どこから施設へ措置されることになるのか、子どもたちの入所経路をみていきます。

62.1% of children come from home,22.3% of children from Nursery,3.9% of children form other children’s home,2.3% of children from foster home.

From MHLW, Outline of investigation of children entering the children’s Training Facility (January,2020)

I started to live in a children’ when I was 7 years old because my parents divorced.

施設に入るまでに警察署→児童相談所(一ヶ月の保護)での日々を経て児童養護施設での生活が始まりました

First I was at the police station, then next, I was protected at the child guidance center for one month. I don’t specify now but during one month protection, staff of the child guidance center had meetings and they decided that it was difficult for me to go back to my house, so I started living in the facility.

Parents’ divorce is not included in top 10 reasons, but some are sent by their parents’ divorce like me.

I am one of that case.I am happy if you understand children at the facilities have some different reasons to live there.


The length of time they will be living at the facility and prospects of home reversion.

Depends on the environmental factor and the actual condition of children’s family, the length of time living at the facility is under 1 year unexpectedly (6month and 2 weeks on average).  From MHLW, Outline of investigation of children entering the children’s Training Facility (January,2020)


From MHLW, Outline of investigation of children entering the children’s Training Facility (January,2020)

Half of them don’t go back to their houses and keep living at the facilities till independence.

From MHLW, Outline of investigation of children entering the children’s Training Facility (January,2020)


Do children keep in touch with their parents?

A lot of children enter the facilities because of the reasons like what I said, not because they have not parents. 93.3% of the children at the children’s homes have parents or a parent. You may have an image of orphanage after the war. A lot of children entered the facilities because their parents died because of the war.   

You may also think that living in orphanages is equal to insulation.
But about 70% of the children keep in touch with their parents of a parent.

From MHLW, Outline of investigation of children entering the children’s Training Facility (January,2020)

How do the keep in touch with their parents of a parent?

1, phone, email, letter 2, visiting 3, temporarily coming back


When I started living at t facility, I talked to my parent(s) on the phone and received a summer greeting card and New Year’s card. Then next, my parent(s) visited me and went out for a day.


It depends on the existence of parents, but 70% of the children at the facility have a communication with their parent(s).


Are there any inappropriate words to the children at the facilities?

Children at the children’s home go to school nearby.When grow up, they get a job.

You have read through this article because you want to know about the facility because you have a friend from the facility or a coworker from children’s home.

Like what I said, children’s homes  are like dormitories with children who had different reasons started to live together.

They all have different backgrounds and inappropriate words.


From the date of MHLW, about 5.1% of children at the children’s home have no parents. 

From MHLW, Outline of investigation of children entering the children’s Training Facility (January,2020)

What if you talk about family to children who have no parents?What if you talk about family to children who are separated from their family?

What if you talk about family to children who are separated from their family?


In this way, people raised at the facilities have their own different inappropriate words and they are not the same.This is the same for people raised at the ordinary family, isn’t it?

People raised at the ordinary family have pasts they don’t want to talk about.

I think there will be no problem to think that people from the facilities have their own different backgrounds and you don’t have to  be afraid to meet them.


まとめ

  • Dormitory consisted with children from kindergarten to high school students.
  • There are 615 children’s homes in Japan and About 300000 children live there.
  • Children live in the children’s homes because of these reasons. 1. Being abused by parents, 2. No parents with some reasons. 3 Unable to grow up with parents with some reasons. .
  • Most of the children leave children’s homes within one year. 5years and 2months on the average.
  • About a half of the children at the facility staying there until they will be independent from the facility
  • About 93.3% of the children have parents or a parent.
  • About 70% of the children keep in touch with their parents after entering the facility.

How was this article ?
I hope this article would be helpful for all of you to understand “children’s home”.

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