Czech NGOs criticised the obsolete child care system caused by the lack of coordination between the ministries and delays with the systemic reforms. This has been discussed during the roundtable “Transformation of care system for children at risk from children’s and experts’ perspective” that took place on the 15 May 2017 in Prague, the Czech Republic. The event was organized by a Eurochild member Vteřina poté (Second After) and Association Dítě a Rodina (Child and Family Association) bringing together key national and international stakeholders, civil society organisations and representatives from the three ministries responsible for institutional care for children in the Czech Republic.
The Opening Doors for Europe’s Children – a pan-European campaign advocating for strengthening families and ending institutional care – is supporting the international human rights organisation Mental Disability Advocacy Center in their call for the nationwide closure of institutions in Hungary.
Strengthening families and tackling child poverty goes hand-in-hand with ending institutional care for children, writes Jana Hainsworth for Euractiv.
As you return to your families to celebrate Christmas, take a few minutes to consider this. Hundreds of thousands of children across Europe are growing up, away from their families, in institutional care.
The Opening Doors for Europe’s Children progress report reflects on campaign’s achievements towards making a positive difference for hundreds of thousands of children across Europe during Phase I. With larger partnership and extended geography, it describes campaign’s transition into the second phase which is expected to run until the end of 2018.
In June 2016 Country Director of Hope and Homes for Children in Ukraine, Halyna Postoliuk, have paid a regular visit to a family-type small group placement for children “My Home”. She writes for ‘Zerkalo nedeli’, one of the most influential analytical weekly newspapers in Ukraine.
Among familiar faces I have noticed the new one. Smiling cordially, Maxim invited me to the house, proudly showed his room and spoke about his life in this small community of peers and adult carers. Only six months ago he kept looking down and almost never lifted his head; he was ashamed of his appearance, he did not know how to behave and was afraid of questions.
Maxim is 16 years of age, spending 13 of them in various institutions. When he was three, he caught a cold. His mom took him to the hospital and never returned. Then fate, or rather influential adults with the right to make decisions, determined his future life.
Almost 60% of children in institutional care in Serbia are children with disabilities. Most of them are confined to institutions for the rest of their lives, segregated from local communities, with limited or no access to education. Data from the Republic Institute for Social Policy of Serbia shows that only 9% of children with disabilities live with their families or family-based settings. According to Biljana Janjic, the Opening Doors National Coordinator and Programme Associate of the Mental Disability Rights Initiative Serbia (MDRI-S), “Children with disabilities inside Serbian institutions experience physical and chemical restrain, isolation and practices such as overmedication – this constitutes inhumane and degrading treatment and can amount to torture.”