Helping Children In Dysfunctional Families

Helping Children  In Dysfunctional Families Helping Children  In Dysfunctional Families

Nearly 87% of children under coverage and care of the Sate Welfare Organization (SWO) have one or both parents, and either one or both are addicted or abusive, said Hamid Reza Alvand, SWO’s deputy for children and teenagers.

The SWO insists on putting up children who have been taken away from the custody of abusive parents for adoption rather than leaving them in the care of foster homes, Mehr News Agency reported.

To facilitate the entry of the children into new families instead of foster homes, the existing law has been revised. According to the revised law, unmarried women over the age of 30 are also allowed to adopt; something that once was the prerogative of only married couples.

The amended law also allows Iranians living in foreign countries to register for the adoption of children. The previous version of the law took three years to pass a verdict on guardianship while this has now been reduced to 2 years.

 Regular Monitoring  

Social workers of the SWO regularly (on a weekly or monthly basis) supervise dysfunctional families for ensuring safety of children and their appropriate care. Adoption is the last resort to help children escape deprived and unstable homes.

A monthly grant of $50 is given to qualified parents, who are not well-off financially in exchange for caring and keeping a child from a dysfunctional family, the official said.

Since the beginning of the current year (ends March 20), 800 children have been adopted by volunteer families. “Unfortunately 90% of families want to adopt younger kids (less than 2 years old.) The problem can be addressed through raising awareness,” he said.


While adopting an older child may seem more challenging because psychologically they may be affected by their problems, these children however can overcome the challenges if properly nurtured. They may need different methods of parenting and healing can occur and is most likely to happen in a permanent family. “It can provide an opportunity for an incredibly fulfilling experience to change the course of a child’s life,” Alvand said.

A dysfunctional family is one in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child neglect or abuse on the part of individual parents occurs continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions. Children sometimes grow up in these families with the understanding that such an arrangement is normal.

Dysfunctional families are primarily a result of co-dependent adults, and may also be affected by addictions, such as substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, etc.), or sometimes an untreated mental illness. Such parents may emulate or over-correct from their own dysfunctional parents. In some cases, a “child-like” parent will allow the dominant parent to abuse their children.