From a generally anti-foster care perspective, a question was asked –
Why did the government move away from orphanages/group homes to children living with foster carers ? Bottom line is that it is about money. It is cheaper for the government to give foster carers a stipend than provide for the full needs of children in a modern orphanage or group home.
My mom spent a few months as an infant at Porter-Leath, an orphanage in Memphis TN. Her original mother took my mom there only for temporary care while she tried to get on her feet and estranged from her husband, the father of my mom, who was most likely tied up one state over fighting a SuperFlood on the Mississippi in 1937. He was in Arkansas working for the WPA and that was where most of his own roots and family were. That is how Georgia Tann got involved and my mom ended up adopted.
My family visited Porter-Leath in 2017. It is now an amazingly peaceful place and much changed but still provides some sheltering for runaways who need a safe place to go.
The discussion was not about orphanages of the past though. It was about facilities that are geared towards children’s best interests. A revamped system. An environment where the kid never has to become someone else to fit in with a family he isn’t related to. One that is very consistent and stable. That is vital for kids.
And no competition with a foster carer’s biological kids, or being made to feel like a burden or an inconvenience compared to the carer’s biological children. Modern orphanages are really structured. Everyone there is on the same playing field. It totally eliminates the foster vs biological conflicts. The experience of former foster youth is that biological kids are horrible towards foster kids. Full of disdain and resentment for these strangers being in their homes.
I was intrigued by the mention of modern orphanages, I found a link to an Atlantic article highlighting Palmer Home for Children in Mississippi that is fairly current.