With EU funding and influence, the end of institutional care for children is in sight

Opening Doors leading partner Hope and Homes for Children’s Dr Delia Pop, has been invited to share her expertise in a new publication launched today in Brussels by UNICEF and Eurochild.

Realising the Rights of Children everywhere: Moving forward with the EU, includes reflections by experts across a range of child rights issues.

Delia was invited to contribute a chapter reflecting on her career working with children trapped in the institutional care system and families at risk of separation and the role the European Union could play in accelerating the end of institutional care for children in Europe.

Read an extract from the article below or click on the image above to read the full article (pages 48-49).

“A decade ago I was working on the ground in Romania. At the time there were over 100,000 children in the child protection system in the country. The vast majority were in institutional care. These places were as close to hell as you can imagine.

“In crumbling mausoleum-like buildings, hundreds of babies lay staring silently at the ceiling. They had quickly learnt that no one would comfort them when they cried. The older children had replaced a total lack of physical contact with self-stimulation – rocking back and forth or hitting, biting and scratching themselves….

“…Standing in that room of silent babies ten years ago, the end of institutional care could not have seemed further away. But today, the end of institutional care for children in Europe is possible and within our reach…

…The EU has a crucial role to play in supporting these reforms at national level to accelerate progress to­wards ending institutional care.”

Watch the video of the publication launch

Watch the video of the publication launch