This article focuses on the rise and decline of orphanages in Ukraine. Orphanages did not begin proliferating largely until the 1830s through rapid urbanization, and industrialization. In addition, justification for placement of children in orphanages shifted from housing only children of parentless families to also including children from poor families and those from neglectful or alcoholic parents. The number of orphanages reached their peak in 1880-1920. Many factors led to the decline and death of orphanages in the U.S. A few of the most noticeable and documented causes include: overcrowding, lack of funds, significant changes in policy and the creation of various agencies and services under new policy, attitude changes against institutional child care resulting from research and publicity, and the professionalization of social work. Research and negative publicity also played a role in crushing orphanages. The drive toward individuation of institutionalized children was a significant responsibility of the social work profession, which was beginning to establish itself in the 1920s.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-63
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Orphanages
  • Children -- Institutional care
  • Child welfare
  • Individuation (Psychology)
  • Social services
  • Ukraine


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