Smiling baby and Woman

Standards of Care

In orphanages around the world, Holt sponsors and donors help elevate care standards for children.

Since 1956, Holt has Helped Improve the Quality of Care Provided to Orphaned and Vulnerable Children

Since Harry Holt first traveled to post-war Korea and formed the Holt Adoption Program in 1956, Holt has sought to improve the care orphaned and vulnerable children receive. Holt believes children thrive best in families, and our ultimate goal is to see every child thriving in the love and care of a permanent, loving family. But around the world, thousands of children continue to live in institutional care. Some are waiting to reunite with their birth families or join adoptive families. Others live in long-term care settings.

For every child we serve, Holt partners with orphanages and local governments to help elevate the quality of services they receive. Sponsors and donors support this important work by meeting children’s basic health, nutrition and educational needs. In many countries, Holt has introduced foster care and group homes as more nurturing, family-like alternatives for children in orphanage care. For children who remain in orphanages, we work to reduce caregiver-to-child ratios, strengthen nutrition and feeding practices, improve care for children with special needs, and build local social work capacity to develop permanency plans for each child  — training caregivers and other orphanage staff to provide the highest level of care and advocacy to all children. 

Millions of children with special needs live in orphanages

Holt’s child nutrition program trains caregivers in how to nourish and feed children with special needs. In many countries, sponsors also support rehabilitative therapies and other specialized resources.

Institutional care can devastate brain development

In orphanages around the world, Holt sponsors provide resources to hire additional caregivers —  helping children receive the nurturing, one-on-one care they need for healthy cognitive development.

Over a third of children in orphanages are poorly nourished

Holt’s child nutrition program improves orphanage nutrition and feeding practices — reducing malnutrition and other hunger-related health problems among orphaned and vulnerable children.

Our Standards of Care Approach Is Based on the Needs of Children

In every community where Holt works, our teams on the ground work alongside local partners to create programs that address the unique needs of children and families. Due to variability in local resources, the needs of children living in orphanages are greater in some countries than others. In more developed countries like Korea and China, for example, basic needs are often met but children with special needs require additional support. In developing countries like Ethiopia or Haiti, children may not even have enough to eat. Read about a few of our programs to strengthen standards of care in orphanages around the world.

The Ilsan Center Sets the Standard

Built in the 1960s by Holt’s founders, the Holt Ilsan Center is recognized around the world for the care and community it provides to people with special needs and is emulated in numerous countries.

Holt Long-Term Care Partner Provides Optimal Care

In Pune, India, Holt sponsors support children at BSSK, which has its own neonatal intensive care unit, a low ratio of caregivers to children, and provides therapy to help children overcome delays.

Improving Orphanage Care in Haiti

In Haiti, Holt sponsors help provide better nutrition and education, and improved child protection measures for children living at three crèches and one government residential care center.

Stories About Holt’s Standards of Care Services

two babies in a crib

Give Urgent Help to Orphanages

So many orphanages are overwhelmed with children right now. Your gift will rush emergency formula, diapers, food and more to children in orphanages around the world.

Help a child thrive in care or in a family!

As a sponsor, you can help provide a higher quality of care for a child living in an orphanage, a foster home or with their birth family.

Holt world map

Explore how Holt sponsors and donors care for children around the world!

Learn about the work we do