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Khun Mayuree joins Care for Children in Thailand
23 October 2019

Introducing Khun Mayuree
Last month, Khun Mayuree joined our team in Thailand as a Senior Government Advisor. We’re really excited for her to join the team, and wanted to share with you her incredible story of introducing family-based care to Thailand.
Over twenty years ago, Khun Mayuree attended a conference in Sweden while working for a children’s welfare home, Vieng Ping Children’s Home, Thailand. At the conference, Khun Mayuree learnt that orphaned and abandoned children in Sweden don’t live in orphanages.
“It was the first time ever that I’d heard about children without parents being looked after by other families” says Khun Mayuree. “In Thailand, this only used to happen in families, when aunts and uncles, or grandparents, would look after children. At the conference, I was amazed to hear that families who aren’t related to the children would welcome them into their home and look after them.”
This was the moment that changed Khun Mayuree’s life. And little did she know, it would change the life of children, families, whole communities of people in Chiang Mai.
“When I returned home from that conference, I knew that we had to change how we cared for the children in the home. And not just in that home, but across Thailand. We needed children to be raised in families, not institutions.”

A national vision
Khun Mayuree returned home from the conference in Sweden determined to change the way that orphans in Thailand were cared for. Since then, Khun Mayuree has had a transformational impact on the Vieng Ping Children’s Home in Chiang Mai. In the last twenty years around 700 children have been placed in families instead of living in the home. Right now, over one hundred children are living in families, supported by staff from the home who monitor the children and the families in the local community
We have a shared vision with Khun Mayuree: to see every orphaned and abandoned child in Thailand move out of orphanages and into loving families. This shared national vision is why Khun Mayuree has joined our team.
“In general, Thai people don’t know about foster care. We need to educate more people about the need that children have” explains Khun Mayuree. We need to explain what children gain from being placed in families- that when children have love, when they have a family, their development improves. My hope is over the next few years everyone in Thailand will know about foster care, that every children’s home in Thailand, across the whole country, will understand that they can support children living in families, so that the number of children in living in homes will come down.”
With the national roll-out of Care for Children’s training program complete, the potential growth of foster care in Thailand is an exciting prospect. With the infrastructure in place, the challenge now is to recruit more foster families to welcome children into their homes. As Khun Mayuree knows, asking families to welcome children into their homes is a life-changing question, but the reward is great for everyone.
We could have families ready to take the children, and that would mean children won’t need to be sent to child welfare homes or shelters. The children would receive safe and loving care from foster families. That would decrease the burden currently on government workers and staff. It would be amazing!

- Tak, Thai Family Placement Worker
Jane Arnott, Care for Children’s Country Manager in Thailand, believes Khun Mayuree’s experience will have a huge impact on Care for Children’s work. “The government here in Thailand not only recognise but respect her for all the hard work she has done and the experience that she’s had. Khun Mayuree can tell stories of children’s lives who have changed. She’s seen the impact of this work over twenty years. And not just children’s lives but families, communities, the lives of those who work at the home.“
In the coming weeks and months, we’ll keep you updated with the progress of our project as we work with the government to take to the streets, televisions and radiowaves to shout about why foster care can transform the lives of so many.
You can support our work in Thailand by giving regularly and becoming a Family Champion. Just £10 a month can help us train another family placement worker and support twenty more children to thrive in a loving family.
Please join us today. Become a FAMILY CHAMPION today
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