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Rethinking Orphanges

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    Gina Magnanti Economics

    Nowadays, it is considered acceptable to send a young person from a supportive, wealthy

    family away to a residential boarding school. At the same time it is considered destructive to send a

    young person from an unsafe, unhealthy home to a nurturing, educational, residential setting.

    As a result of old orphanage stereotypes in the past, many residential education programs have

    shut down during the past four or five decades. Most of these stereotypes weren’t helped by such

    examples as shown in Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist. Major newsmagazines supported these

    popular stereotypes with turn-of-the-century pictures of pathetic orphanage residents on their covers.

    The debate lasted only a few months. The critics claimed victory once again, and nothing was done.

    The government has failed at taking care of children who find themselves unwanted because

    their parents have given them up or died. There are now few education-focused, residential settings

    available for young people, especially adolescents, who don’t have homes that can support them nor

    schools that can effectively teach them. However, there are tens of thousands of children who could

    Unwanted children are condemned to constant dependency on individuals who are more

    concerned with their perks and privileges than with children. The government rewards those who carry

    out its programs for the number of children they take in, but it doesn’t evaluate the quality of care.

    Children are moved from one program to another each time people dream up some new way to get

    This book gives a compelling case that unwanted children are much better cared for in the

    private sector by orphanages run by churches or other charitable organizations. McKenzie grew up in

    an orphanage and speaks passionately from his own experience. He is thankful for having had an

    orphanage provide continuity in his life. The kind of continuance that is lacking in today’s

    government-run foster care system. Children are often sent through the system consisting of foster care

    homes. McKenzie notes that surveys show the majority of orphans tend to look back on their

    Rethinking Orphanages for the 21st Century provides the foundation for a real national policy

    debate. The short-lived, sound-bite-based national policy debate on orphanage care that took place in

    late 1994 was, regrettably, founded on old orphanage stereotypes. House Speaker Newt Gingrich

    praised the 1930s movie “Boys Town”, whereas his critics in the Clinton administration countered with

    visions of orphanages in London in the late 1800s, as depicted in Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist.

    This edited volume is the first attempt to rethink critical issues relating to the care of

    disadvantaged young people. One contributor evaluates the current dreadful state of care for many

    American children. Another contributor evaluates the literature relating to orphanage care and finds

    much of it to be lacking. Yet another contributor does what the critics have not done- and surveys

    orphans about how they have done in life and how they look back on their experiences. Unfortunately,

    the reality of orphanages and the Hollywood portrayals of them was never compared until this.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Rethinking Orphanges. (2018, Jul 04). Retrieved from

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