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Saudi Arabia moving orphans into Foster care

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Ministry of Social Affairs has announced that it will establish social homes for orphans in all parts of the country to improve the quality of their life.

Deputy Minister of Social Affairs Abdullah Al-Muaiqil announced this while opening a social home in Riyadh.

“We want to move orphans away from shelter homes and give them an experience close to family life. Orphans currently live with their peers in schools in exclusive shelter homes. They are raised differently from the rest of the children and we want to bridge this gap, so they don’t feel isolated from society,” said Al-Muaiqil.

He said the ministry plans to open more social homes in various regions of the Kingdom.

“The social homes will be villas or apartments accommodating a small number of orphans where each orphan can receive better attention and treatment. This will give them the chance to cultivate his or her skills and talents,” said Al-Muaiqil.

He also said the orphans will be grouped based on their ages.

“Orphans in similar age groups will be living together. The ministry has taken into consideration the safety and security of these residential units. We are looking for the best contractors available from both the private and public sectors,” said Al-Muaiqil.

He added the ministry prioritizes the safety and dignity of the orphans and will only offer them the best of apartments and villas.

“The first social home in Riyadh is a complex of 10 villas that the ministry has rented. The maximum number of orphans under 12 years in each villa or apartment is five and the maximum number of orphans over 12 years in each villa or apartment is eight,” said Al- Al-Muaiqil.

He also said each complex will have a social worker and a psychologist to take care of the children.

“Boys over 12 years old will be living with a foster father in each villa. The ministry plans to have social homes instead of shelter homes as new orphanages. The ministry hopes the new homes would help orphans grow in a better environment and gain more benefits from society,” said Al-Muaiqil.

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