Opening Doors National Coordinator from Hungary, Maria Herczog spoke recently at the International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO) Conference 2015, mentioning the importance of alternatives to institutional care.
Speaking at the IFCO Conference 2015 in Sydney titled, “Tell someone who cares, caring for our children”, Opening Doors Hungarian Coordinator Maria Herczog talked of achievements and challenges in Deinstitutionalisation in Europe.
“Deinstitutionalisation is not starting and ending with the closing of institutions, it is a carefully planned and implemented comprehensive strategy to prevent institutionalisation and reintegration of children into families and communities.” Ms Herczog said.
Over one million children are locked up in institutions (the so-called orphanages) in Europe, estimations say. Very few of these children are actually orphans. Institutional care not only keeps children separated from their families but it damages the children’s physical, intellectual and emotional development.
Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign advocates for prevention services and investment in families that can halt family separation and avoid breach of children’s rights.
“Family and community based care is not necessarily cheaper but much better serving the well-being of children and fulfillment of their rights.” Maria Herczog concluded.
IFCO is an international network dedicated solely to the promotion and support of family based foster care across the world. Read more about their conference here.