You never know what it might take to tip the scales for a child. Sometimes it’s helping orphanage staff master a new therapy technique that opens up a child’s world. Sometimes it’s a single sentence in a developmental summary or a 5-second video that helps a family decide to adopt a child. One hard reality, however, is that many children in China’s orphanages do age-out of adoption – on their 14th birthday – with an uncertain future that often involves long-term institutionalization.
One organization is making a difference for children at risk for long-term institutionalization – by bettering their chances of finding a family before age 14 and by improving the overall quality of life within the orphanage setting: Red Thread Charities. RTC has been working on the ground in China’s orphanages since 2006. Founded by adoptive parents with a connection to Children’s Home, RTC brings training to orphanage staff with teams of multi-disciplinary medical and developmental professionals who work with both orphanage staff and children in care.
As we see more school age children and children with complex special needs, our work to prepare families to understand and meet these needs is more critical than ever. The more we know about a child, the better we’re able to serve him or her. We strive to get updates and more background information on the children we advocate for – but it’s not easily done. Through our collaboration with RTC, we’re able to supplement a child’s file with added photos, videos, and assessments from American medical professionals.
This information helps prospective parents see the child behind the diagnosis and determine if they have what the child needs in a family. RTC’s information also helps orphanage caregivers better understand the therapy and daily activities that will help a child come closer to reaching his or her potential.
RTC’s successes result in families making better informed decisions about adoption and orphanages enhancing their care and support of children with special needs.