Episode 95: Keeping Families Together w/ Heather Askew

October 5, 2020


Show Description

A few episodes ago, I hosted a show with Cam Lee, a transracial adoptee and mental health professional. We talked about issues surrounding transracial adoption, white saviorism, and the movement to adopt from orphanages internationally. Heather Askew, one of my listeners, reached out to me and she works with NGOs that are trying to make the shift from orphanages to family based-care. I don’t know very much about this. But I feel like for those of us who advocate for the well-being of children, not just in our own communities, but worldwide, it would be good for us to learn more about how we can be better advocates.

Heather Askew grew up in the US and moved to Thailand just over nine years ago to work at an after school program for kids who lived in the slums and the red light district of Chiang Mai, Thailand. But over the years, she and her teammates saw issues that were not being met by their work. They started a new organization that is developing a foster care system in Thailand and helping shift the Thai system from being dependent on orphanages to being more family-based that supports children living with relatives or their biological parents.

Show Highlights:

  • The misconceptions of orphanages.
  • Why building more orphanages is not a solution to the social problems vulnerable children face.
  • Why it’s important to transition children back into their own families.
  • The differences between family-based care and orphanages.
  • How Heather is working with churches and Western Christians to change their narratives.

Links (affiliates included):

Jojo’s Sanctuary –

Faith to Action –

Christian Alliance for Orphans –

Join us at the Parenting Forward Patreon Team –

Parenting Forward, the Book –