In Child Protection, Easy Solutions are Rarely Real Solutions

Feb 20, 2014 | Huffington Post

Working in child welfare in developing countries, or any country for that matter, isn't a particularly easy or simple task, in fact it's quite the opposite. Child welfare cases can contain a menagerie of issues including health and hygiene, HIV, domestic violence, child labor, street living and/or working; the list goes on. These issues can be compounded in a country like Cambodia where there is often not the legal or government-lead structures or enforcement mechanisms that exist in countries with strong child protection systems.

Often when faced with these highly complex issues, people or practitioners can ironically regress to view situations in simple and stark terms. The area where I see this most dramatically in Cambodia is the removal of children from their families and placement in orphanages. Under the complexity of problems marginalized families face, a dramatically simplified view of 'cause' and 'solution' has emerged amongst some organizations, resulting in the systematic and unnecessary removal of thousands of children from their families.