Children in Institutional Care: How to Ensure the Quality of Caring Services in Vietnam?

Nguyen Thi Thai Lan


In recent years, Vietnam has been achieving significant stepping-stones in providing care and support for children in special circumstances thanks to the great efforts from the government and related international organizations. Up to date, Vietnam has built a system of legal documents related to providing care and support for children such as the Law for Children (2016), the Law for Persons with Disabilities (2010), and tens of related Degrees, Circulars and Decisions. Even though Vietnam has ongoing efforts to deinstitutionalize care of children, a number of disadvantaged children are still placed in Social protection institutions. It is important to pay attention to improving the services for those children to ensure that their needs and rights are met. This paper demonstrates the key findings from a study conducted to assess standards of care set in the Circular No. 04/2011/TT-BLĐTBXH for children with disability in 2016 by Vietnam Federation of Disabilities, supported by UNICEF-Vietnam. Different methods of data collection have been utilized to acquire both quantitative and qualitative information: Surveys of 84 managers, staff and 37 in-depth interviews with managers, direct staff and children with disabilities. The results reveal many areas of institutional care needed to be improved. Notably the research results have given useful implications to improve the functions of the social work profession and roles of social workers in supporting and assuring services for vulnerable children in social protection institutions.

Received 26thFebruary 2018 Revised 26th April 2018 Accepted 30th April 2018


Institutional care/social protection institutions; Children with disabilities; Standards of care; Social work.

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