While a child without good parents is vulnerable, equally so is the child without meaningful community connections. A child needs meaningful contact with other adults and children who can reflect back to them a sense of their identity, who they are, who they are not, what they can be, what they want to be.
In all of human history, it has only been very recently that the nuclear family (two parents) has been seen to have sole responsibility for the child – even more recently of course it is the single parent who has been expected to do it alone.
No matter how well intentioned, no parent or institution or expert system can provide for all the child’s needs. Some parents cope better than others, but what happens to the child if for some reason a parent cannot cope – if they have an accident, a bad health turn or some other turn in fortune?
If we are serious about vulnerable children, then attention to building a well connected local community is imperative.
Does it still need a village to raise a child? What do you think?