The boarding-out system is an innovative approach to the rearing of children in need of care. It is a practice in which children are placed in the care of foster or adoptive parents, and it has been utilized in many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Canada (Chapman, 2019). The boarding-out system is usually implemented when traditional forms of care, such as orphanages or residential care homes, are not available or suitable for a particular child. This system provides a family-like environment, with the potential to provide a secure and nurturing home for children who are in need of care.

The boarding-out system has its roots in the 18th century, with records of children being placed in the homes of relatives, friends, or other families in the United Kingdom (Chapman, 2019). This system was seen as a better alternative to the institutional care of the time, which was often seen as harsh and inadequate. In the 19th century, the boarding-out system was further developed in the United Kingdom, with the creation of the “National Children’s Home” in 1869 (Chapman, 2019). This organization was the first to formally practice the boarding-out system, and it is credited with popularizing the concept of placing children in the homes of foster or adoptive parents.

The boarding-out system has numerous advantages over traditional forms of care. One of the most significant benefits is that it offers a family-like environment for the child. This environment can provide a sense of security and stability, which is often lacking in institutional care. Additionally, the boarding-out system allows for individualized attention and care, which can be beneficial for a child’s development and well-being. Furthermore, it can be less expensive than other forms of care, as the foster or adoptive parents are typically responsible for the costs associated with the child’s care (Chapman, 2019).

Despite the many advantages of the boarding-out system, there are also some potential drawbacks. One of the most significant drawbacks is that it can be difficult to ensure that the child is placed in a suitable home. Additionally, the child may not have access to the same level of supervision and support that is provided in an institutional setting. Furthermore, the foster or adoptive parents may not have the necessary training or experience to provide the child with the care and support they need.

The boarding-out system is an innovative form of care for children in need. It provides a family-like environment which can offer a sense of security and stability for the child. Additionally, it can provide individualized attention and care, as well as cost savings when compared to traditional forms of care. However, there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of, such as the difficulty of ensuring that the child is placed in a suitable home and the lack of supervision and support that is provided in an institutional setting.

Chapman, L. (2019). The boarding-out system. In G. Rodwell & J. Smith (Eds.), The history of child welfare (pp. 308-320). London: Routledge.

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