EU funds to be used to close 50 state care institutions for children in Romania. This has been confirmed by the Romanian Government after Ministry of Social Protection published a list of 50 old-type institutions for closure on 12 May 2017. These institutions, including institutions for children with disabilities, are located in 7 out of the 8 regions in Romania.
The call for closure projects will be launched on the Priority Axis 4 – Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination, Investment priority 9iv – Enhancing access to affordable, sustainable and high- quality services, including health care and social services of general interest. It will pursue three main goals:
- To support the DI process ensuring that family- and community-based services are in place as alternatives to children’s institutionalisation
- To finance projects stemmed from concrete needs of children and young people, with realistic plans for closure of institutions and the development of prevention services, with infrastructure corresponding to the needs identified
- To ensure a complementary approach (OPHC and ROP) and to avoid disparate and mono-sectoral measures which can be less effective if not accompanied by complementary measures
Adrian Oros, National coordinator of the Opening Doors in Romania says: “This is an important step in the reform of the child protection system in Romania. The long-standing governmental declarations to close all institutions by 2022 are getting gradually translated into action. Especially commendable is the fact that a third of the old-type institutions in Romania that have been listed for closure by the Government in May 2017 include institutions for children with disabilities. This group of children is over-represented in institutional care and makes up almost 60% of all the children who remain in Romanian institutions. The time to ensure their rights to live in more inclusive, supportive and caring communities is now.”
According to the latest data of the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoptions, there are 7,471 children that are currently living in 191 old-type institutions in Romania. National Strategy for the Protection and Promotion of Children’s Rights, as well as the engagements of the Romanian Government for the 2014-2020 EU funding period, both focus on the transition from institutional care to community-based care, with special attention paid to prevention of separation of children from families and ensuring care services for children, based on high-quality standards.