Deinstitutionalization of the child as an approach to secure a family life
Deinstitutionalization of the child stems from the importance of a family life for every child, in particular, those who have lost or are at risk of losing their parental care. The process of DI mainly seeks to prevent the need for AC, but it is uncertain. There are many circumstances under which AC is seen as necessary. The following thesis examines the legal status of institutional care (residential care) for children, as an alternative, in international law. To achieve this, the author follows a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach including a case study on the family-like model of SOS Children’s Villages, to understand the rationale behind the process of DI. This thesis concludes that the need for AC, within the process of DI, should be perceived as the process to secure a quality, suitable alternative care placement in the best interests of the child, and should not merely be based on the availability of one placement or another. Thus, international law shall better articulate the parameters of what constitutes quality of care criteria within each AC placement, to make the process of DI consistent and thereby reduce risk for vulnerable children.