Safe and Sound? On the Intersection of Child Protection and Child and Youth Residential Care in the Philippines


In the Philippines, unknown numbers of children are in institutional care. Commonly known as residential care or orphanages, these institutions have been established to fill a social welfare gap, and to better support child welfare and protection efforts. But what are the implications for the children in these institutions, and what does this system tell us about the monetisation of their welfare?

Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Steven Roche discusses the risks to children’s safety and wellbeing when placed in unsuitable youth residential care institutions, and what policy changes are necessary to ensure child wellbeing and welfare in institutional care.

About Steven Roche:

Dr Steven Roche is a Lecturer in Social Work and early career researcher at Charles Darwin University. He researches child protection and social policy settings with a particular focus on child and family welfare in the Philippines, and teaches across child protection and social work theory units. His doctoral research, completed in 2020 at Monash University, explored the role of residential care as a child protection mechanism in the Philippines, concentrating on young people’s perspectives and experiences of living in residential care and the social context that surrounds their care and protection. Steven has published a range of articles on this topic across leading social work and social policy journals. He has a forthcoming (late 2022) book chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Child Protection Systems titled ‘Protecting children in the Philippines: a system focused overview of policy and practice’.

For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:

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Natali Pearson

Dr Natali Pearson is Curriculum Coordinator at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.

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