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Making a long-term impact

The majority of children who have been supported by SOS Children's Villages are doing well or very well, in at least six out of eight dimensions of well-being.

07. september 2017

All the children who are enrolled in SOS Children's Villages family strengthening programs or moved to an SOS family, have a life situation where their well-being and development are seriously at risk in one or more ways.

In order to find out how the work of SOS Children's Villages has improved children’s lives in the long term, we have developed a social impact assessment methodology together with Boston Consulting Group. Seven SOS countries have been evaluated so far. The evaluation measures how people who were cared for or supported by SOS Children's Villages are doing as adults - in eight dimensions: care, physical health, social and emotional well-being, education and skill, protection, livelihood, food security and shelter.

These are the key findings:

  • 84 percent of children growing up in an SOS family and 79 percent of children being supported by an SOS family strengthening program, are doing well or very well in at least six of eight dimensions of well-being.
  • 91 percent of all children growing up in an SOS family, who later become parents, fulfil their parental obligations to their own children, creating a positive impact on future generations. 
  • No child who participated in an SOS family strengthening program was separated from their biological family. Keeping families together is the main goal of the family strengthening program.
  • SOS programs proved a social return on investment of at least 14 euro for every one euro invested.

Care is the key to access to and benefit from education and health services and therefore essential to development for each individual. Providing a good childhood means securing that children receive care and protection in a family so that they can develop into self-sufficient adults and contributing members of society. Investing in care for children is a socially and economically profitable investment. We call it the care effect.

In Europe alone, we reached 158400 children and youth in SOS care programs.


  • This figure shows the impact for children and families who have received support through the SOS family strengthening program.


  • This figure shows the impact for children who have grown up in an SOS family in an SOS Children's Village. They are all grown up now and self-sufficient and do not receive any support from SOS Children’s Villages.

Download the full report