Author: Andrew A. Dunn
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In common with other CIS/CEE countries Georgia is working to change the impact of previous policies of institutionalisation of children with disabilities and children from poor families. The use institutional care in Georgia had been less widespread than neighbouring countries and the country had already made significant efforts to reduce the number of children in these places from 5,000+ in 2005 down to about 1200 in 2009. Many children had already been returned to live with parents, placed in foster care or placed in newly established small group homes. Reflecting current international child care policies and practices, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs Child Action Plan for 2008 to 2011 had “deinstitutionalisation” as one of its three main goals. A particular challenge for this Ministry was that the caseload of children still residing in the child care institutions were expected to be “difficult to place” or hard to reintegrate cases.
In essence the independent assessment examined the deinstitutionalisation process (1) from 8 special education boarding schools and (2) from 10 child care institutions during the period 2010 to March 2011.
The methodology used in the independent assessment was key informant interviews and visits to reintegrated children, children in foster care, small group homes, child care institutions, special education facilities and to Social Service Agency offices. Discussions were also held with ministry headquarter staff and the staff of (I)NGOs.
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