Whom We Serve
Orphans and Vulnerable Children & Young Adults in South Korea
Vulnerable children are placed in welfare homes for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, being an orphan. Abandonment, unstable family situations, health issues, etc. are other reasons for placement. Therefore, the term welfare home is used instead of orphanage. Regardless of the reason for being placed in a welfare home, all of these children are vulnerable and at-risk and must deal with the stigma and trauma of living in a welfare home.
There are 300 government-recognized welfare homes in South Korea with a combined population of approximately 13,000 children aging from new born infants to 18-year-old students. (The exact number of additional children living in private homes is unknown, but some estimates say there may be a similar number of students residing in non-government-recognized welfare homes.)
NOTE: These numbers do not include the tens of thousands of adults who have already aged out of welfare homes and who often continue to need support and caring relationships with a responsible adult.
200-600 of welfare home students age out every year when they turn 18 or graduate from high school.
When students age out of the system, they receive a one-time grant of up to 5,000,000 won (approx. $4, 200) from the government for living expenses.
LifeTogether has active programs for middle school and high school students in 3 welfare homes in the Seoul area, as well as ongoing support and mentoring for aged-out young adults. These 3 homes have a combined population of approximately 600 children.