Hope System of Care for Children with Disabilities is a system of care that provides intensive wraparound services utilizing existing local resources to identify need, provide access to services, and coordinate quality care for children with disabilities (CWD) including those who may have been negatively affected by exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin.
Agent Orange/dioxin is a suspected cause of many disabilities including congenital birth defects, diabetes, and heart disease. Exposure to dioxin and its impact continues to the next generation from persistent environmental contamination in toxic “hot spots” where the herbicides were stored during the Vietnam War. According to the Red Cross, three million Vietnamese have been affected by dioxin, including 150,000 of today’s children who were born with serious congenital defects.
Hope System of Care provides access to wraparound services that improves the lives of children with disabilities and their families within five domains, assisting each child to develop to his/her fullest potential.
- Health care, rehabilitation, and nutrition
- Education and vocational training
- Stable housing and handicapped accessibility
- Community integration
What Does Hope System of Care Do?
1) Assesses each child’s needs and creates an individualized plan that is tailored and comprehensive.
2) Often includes one or more services such as schooling, vocational training, handicapped assessable housing, counseling, surgery and prosthetics, livelihood support.
3) Increases family motivation and engagement by working with families from a strengths-based approach that supports both the child with disability and family.
4) Assists the child develop to his/her fullest potential and works with the family to became self-reliant and economically stable.
5) Train local government partners to help build long-term infrastructure.
The Children Served
Children served have one or more disabling conditions. They are poor, with incomes typically below $20 USD per month, and are between 0 to 25 years of age. Lastly, at least 50% of the services are directed toward girls, ensuring equal access.
There are three central features of this system of care:
1) case managers are assigned to a child with disability to coordinate care;
2) inter-disciplinary expert teams (Community Care Team) conduct evaluations and recommend an integrated treatment; and
3) local care workers assist case managers to implement, follow-up, and make regular home visits to support the child and family.
Why Vietnam and the Danang Region
While the exact incidence of children with disabilities and the specific cause of each child’s disability are unknown, the Vietnam government estimates that there are 3 million people in Vietnam suffering from the affects of Agent Orange, and the Vietnam Red Cross estimates that 150,000 Vietnamese children are disabled due to their parents’ exposure to dioxin. Many US, international, and Vietnamese scientists link exposure to Agent Orange to high rates of digestive ailments, neural disease, skin diseases, and cancers, and exposed women show high rates of premature birth, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, molar pregnancy, uterine cancer, and children with severe birth defects such as missing limbs or deformities, spina bifida, deafness, and other impairments.
Dioxin is one of the ingredients in Agent Orange, a defoliant sprayed on Vietnam from 1962 to 1971 during the war. A number of areas or “hotspots” with high residual dioxin still exist today, most notably around the perimeters of former bases where there was intensive and repeated close-range spraying, including Danang.
Cam Le People's Committee
Hai Chau People’s Committee
Ngh Hanh Son People’s Committee
For more information about Agent Orange/dioxin:
The Aspen Institute
Agent Orange Fact Sheet!
The Agent Orange Record
The Last Ghost of War
Vietnam Reporting Project
Make Agent Orange History