About 26,000 children who are orphaned or do not have proper care live in Iran under the protection and support of the national Welfare Organization, directly or indirectly. Of these, 85% of them are from families whose parents are unable to properly care for their own children. Each year, about 900 children enter the welfare system.
The mental health impacts of family separation on children include everything from depression and night terrors to self-esteem issues and anger.
Experts report that addiction, poverty (and resulting behavior like prostitution and violence), and mental illness are to blame for Iran’s child welfare crisis. In fact, about 70% of the children involved have parents who are battling addition. Recent studies show that about 2.8 million people in Iran are continuous drug users.