Where do we go from here: Are our institutions as they are a deadlock?

Institutions for children especially those entrusted with their care run into certain deadlocks. Despite their best intentions, they can create harmful psychological and developmental consequences for those children.  Perhaps, without necessarily revisiting the whole institutional structure and the technocracy behind it - though this will invariably have to be the understood as the framework within which I am working in - one can look into the architectural framework for these care institutions. 

What will the architectural proposal entail?  Perhaps there is a way to revisit the way people in the institution interact with one another, if play as a cultural element can have a role in creating a convivial place for these children, and how architecture can assert the importance of the individual’s needs rather than erasing it in the face of the collective’s.   How can we find the balance?  That which Aldo Van Eyck would have called an in-between realm*, which “is to reconcile conflicting polarities”.

*see definitions.

The Youth Protection institutions operate in different modalities and at varying scales depending on the needs. 

1. Foster homes (Famille d’accueil)

As it stands children 0-5 are usually placed in foster care because of the intensive needs of a new-born or very young child. This option is preferable over a group home.

2. Group homes (Foyer d’accueil)

In some cases, this modality essentially resembles a house, composed of a living room, kitchen, bedrooms.  Genders are most likely separated, but this might be less strict than in the larger institutions. These types of homes are usually for younger children perhaps with less behavioural problems.  The children are always surrounded by intervenants who work during the day and night. 

3. Campus-based (Centre d’accueil)

A larger institution which is aimed for older children, 12-17, usually for behavioral problems and need a higher degree of supervision where members of opposing genders are strictly separated.  Some of these institutions also integrate schools and become islands unto themselves. 

Mixed bank (Banque Mixte) - children of all ages that are deemed adoptable because they cannot return to their biological parents. They might be placed in all the different types of institutional care.

In intend to focus on the children aged 5 to 12 who have had to be removed from their family environment and put into institutional care and that are part of the mixed bank program.  


@2 years ago with 13 notes
#Illich #Reflections #institutions #Definitions 
  1. theludicreal posted this