Paraguay Protects Families

Country Profile: Paraguay

Total Population: 7.13 million
Total Children under the age of 18: 2.5 million

The situation of children in Paraguay

Alternative care in Paraguay: There are various forms of alternative care in Paraguay: institutional care (larger residential facilities), residential (small-group residential facilities), and foster care (qualified volunteer families caring for children under a court order of protection). More than 90% of children removed from parental care live in institutions, and only an average of 5% live in qualified foster families while awaiting a court's decision on where they will live. There are almost 60 institutional and residential children's homes in Paraguay, while only 3 foster care programs operate. The average time a child spends living in an institutional or residential facility is 4 years and 4 months, alarmingly exceeding the transience of the temporary measure of protection. In most cases, these children have lost ties with their families and communities of origin, and the relationship is less frequent the longer they stay in the children's home. All of these children are waiting for their case to be resolved to live within a safe and loving family.

The Challenges:

  • More than 150,000 children in Paraguay are orphans.
  • Nearly 1,500 children and adolescents in Paraguay live years in institutions, removed from their families by the judicial authority. Thousands more live facing a high risk of abuse or neglect within their family and being removed from their homes because of these factors.
  • In Paraguay, 15% of people live on less than one euro a day. Due to this, it is difficult for families to raise children in good living conditions.
  • 15% of children between the ages of 10 and 17 work to help their families survive.
  • 23.5% of the population aged 5-17 were involved in child labor
  • 10% of children do not have access to the education system.
  • 6 out of every 10 Paraguayan children and adolescents (61%) suffer physical or psychological violence.
  • 18% of people married before the age of 18.
  • Paraguay is among the countries with the highest incidence of children without birth certificates: 24% of all children and 35% of indigenous children under one are not registered.
  • Young girls and boys are often kidnapped and exploited for sexual, commercial, or domestic service reasons.

Paraguay Protects Families (PPF)

The Paraguay Protects Families (PPF) is a national movement driven by organizations, children's homes, churches, and individuals are working to bridge the gap between the situation of children in Paraguay and the current framework of laws and policies. PPF focuses specifically on children at risk of being removed from parental care and in alternative care- including those awaiting a permanent adoptive family. Additionally, they work towards mobilizing and equipping the national church towards family-based care models. Within this role, PPF is working alongside the Paraguayan Government in learning and applying best practices and seeking to improve the development and application of laws and policies to protect children within safe and loving families. Much of the approach of PPF is aimed at the most vulnerable children who do not live in families, promoting foster care and the adoption of children in safe and caring families within supportive communities of faith.

Other Information about Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and Family Care in Paraguay

Better Care Network Information on Family-Based Care in Paraguay 

More information for prayer at Operation World 


"Source: UNICEF, Humanium, SOS Children's Villages International".

National Stories

Finding Family in Paraguay

Little *Sofia was born in Paraguay almost a year ago and in her short life has already known three mothers. It's a complex story for an infant's first year of life, and yet thanks to the advocacy of WWO partner Paraguay Protects Families, Sofia has been protected each step of the way!
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Collaboration Grows Movement in Paraguay

Little Paloma* was born into a very difficult situation. The baby’s mother, overwhelmed by her own life challenges, disappeared after the birth of Paloma, leaving the baby girl in need of parental care. Three years prior to Paloma’s birth, a family in Paraguay heard a message from WWO representatives who were visiting Paraguay and sharing about the importance of adoption and foster care. It seemed God had been planting seeds to prepare this family for an event that would take place three years later.
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Training with UK Specialist for Judges, Public Defenders and Public Prosecutors

Paraguay Protects Families - In The Courts

By Anja Goertzen Gaona
We are in awe at how God has MOVED and acted on behalf of vulnerable children.
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Paraguay Protects Families

By Anja Goertzen Gaona
Dear WWO family, we PRAISE GOD for what He is doing in Paraguay! Inspired by what we have witnessed God doing through His Church around the world, we have started on our own journey of faith. One that seeks to collaborate with others, implement best care practices and ultimately build "walls" of protection for children and families in Paraguay.
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