Orphan Lifeline
Church Based Homes | Scope of Care | An Analogy | Comparison Points | Comparison Summary
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Comparison Summary
Typical institutional orphanage versus typical Orphan Lifeline home. Typical Institutional
Typical Orphan Lifeline Church-based Home





Outside of communities on government-donated land

Within communities on church land


Isolated stand-alone campus

Integrated home on the property of the church

Societal integration

Children are removed and separated from their community of origin

Children are fully integrated into their community of origin. They play and attend school and church with their neighborhood peers.

Number of children

200 to 1,000

8 to 12 (per home), or  for example 40 children in 4 homes.

Caregiver ratio (number of caregivers per child)

Very low to Low

High to Very high

Caregiver status

Paid staff working in shifts

Live-in families and widows complemented by church volunteers

Abuse and neglect potential

Medium to High


Access to the Gospel

Low to Medium


Potential for domestic adoption

Low (children are isolated and removed from families that might be influenced to adopt them)

High (children are constantly seen by church families that might be moved to adopt them)

Physical and mental development

Poor (Below average comparatively)

High (Above average comparatively. Children have high access to education, whereas general community children may have low access )

Transition/Reintegration back into society

Poor (dependency, lack of integration, few employment opportunities)

N/A (no ‘transition’ or ‘reintegration’ because they never left their communities in the first place and have church members for employment potential and referral)

Opportunity to be reunited with extended family that comes searching for them

Low (children are removed and separated from their community of origin and are therefore hard to find by seeking extended family members)

High (children remain in their community of origin and can therefore be more easily found by extended family that have traveled to find them)

Construction style and standard

Excessive (out of place with community living standards)

Normal (equivalent to ‘middle class’ living standards)

Construction cost

High (need to purchase utility infrastructure; typically built to excessive standard)

Low (built on property already owned by the church; already has utility access; church volunteers assist with construction labor)

Love and care

Low to medium (paid staff doing ‘jobs’)

High (church families doing ‘ministry’)


Low to medium (no other stakeholders continually viewing the work)

High (church board and church members continually viewing the work; denominational hierarchies as added accountability)

Prayer for the children


High (individually and collectively)

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