03/01/2023

The Turner Kirk Trust supports a global child protection programme

Turner Kirk Trust co-founding The Transform Collective
The Turner Kirk Trust is co-funding The Transform Collective, a global child protection programme that aims to reduce the number of children in institutionalised care, in favour of family-based care.

The best place for children to grow up is in a family. Incontrovertible evidence shows a safe and secure environment, with stable and nurturing relationships, has a life-long positive impact on a child. Institutionalised children on the other hand often have very poor outcomes. They are likely to be harmed in physical, cognitive, and emotional development and are unable to form significant attachment relationships. It is estimated that between five to six million children live in institutionalised care facilities today. 

The Transform Collective is the creation of the UBS Optimus Foundation, a recognised leader in innovative financing mechanisms for social impact. It is designed to drive systemic change on the issue of institutionalised care, ensuring children grow up in nurturing families. The Collective brings together philanthropists, world-class non-profit organisations, and experts to support and promote family-based care for the world’s most vulnerable children.

The Collective will empower families and strengthen communities’ safety nets in Maharashtra, India, to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families, as well as to establish and scale localised models of alternative family-based care for when separation from the biological family is unavoidable. The Collective will also work globally, engaging partners to drive communications campaigns that increase awareness of the importance of a family-based childhood. This is a vital part of the Collective.

Currently, private philanthropists, faith communities, and other groups are pouring money into orphanages in countries such as Kenya, Nepal, and Cambodia. This is a counterproductive and misguided approach that is doing life-long damage to children in their most formative years.

One of the major focuses of the Turner Kirk Trust is Early Childhood Development. The Transform Collective, which aligns with the Trust’s core principles – scalable, collaborative, smart risk-taking, evidence-based, sustainable, and transformative – is the latest step in the Trust’s mission to catalyse positive change for the development of children around the world.