Toward a Theory of Permanent Environmental Reassignment for Residential Childcare: A Comprehensive Research Agenda for the 21st Century

George S. Yacoubian


Historically there have been two residential childcare institutions in Armenia: orphanages and special boarding schools. The children housed in these facilities are either natural orphans (i.e., children who have no living family or whose biological parents have had their familial rights terminated) or social orphans (i.e., children with living biological parents who are unable or unwilling to care for them but whose rights have not been terminated). In recent years, Armenia’s “transitional centers” have offered a residential alternative for older teenage girls who have outgrown the traditional orphanage but who are not yet ready for independent living. While institutionalization has historically been castigated as contrary to a child’s best interests, our previous research suggests that residential childcare facilities (RCF) provide vulnerable children with a safe haven during times of crisis, a loving environment through intimate relationships with staff and peers, emotional stability during formative years, an improved standard of living, and superior opportunities upon reaching the age of majority. These transitional centers, invaluable to the continuum of care, suggest that permanent environmental reassignment is the ideal path when familial care is surrendered or expropriated.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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