France is a leading member of the European Union. It faces many societal challenges, from caring for the increasingly aging population to inter-racial conflict. France is a strongly secular country where it is forbidden to practice or express one’s faith in the arenas of public service. Spirituality is seen as a private matter and less than 8% of the population attend a church of any kind. It is suggested that over 30% of people state they are non-religious.

Country profile: France

Total population: 65 million
Total children under the age of 18: 14 million

The situation of children in France

Statistics from 2021 state that 177,000 children and young people are in alternative care because they cannot live with their parents or wider family. This care consists of foster families, boarding schools, teenager centers, and in some cases, hotels. It is estimated, that between 7,500 and 10,500 young people are in such hotel institutions. There is a government initiative from Dec 2021 to end the use of hotels for such placements, due to the inherent risk to unsupervised vulnerable young people in that environment. A number of people of faith are engaged with foster care in France but are restricted in expressing this in the sight and hearing of children they foster. This limits their ability to attend church services as a family and talk openly about their faith at home.    

Towards a national movement in France:         
World Without Orphans Europe has connections with French foster carers, but there is as yet no known collaborative movement of Christians involved in the care of children in alternative care or preventative work. WWO Europe will welcome contact with anyone interested in making connections or sharing information about their work or that of an organisation they know or work with.

Contact email

Other Information about Orphaned and Vulnerable Children and Family Care in France

Better Care Network Information on Family-Based Care in France
More information for prayer at Operation World