Formal Care in Kazakhstan: The Budgetary Aspect
Costs for Transformation of Residential Institutions and Development of New Services
The paper begins with international comparisons based on which Kazakhstan is rated among other transitional economies in terms level of children in formal care, level of institutionalization, incidence of parental care deprivation and share of children in substitute families/under guardianship. The high level of institutionalization of children in Kazakhstan (first place among CIS and East European countries in 2006) comes in contrast with the relatively low incidence of parental care deprivation, which may indicate that the incidence of deprivation is underestimated in official reporting. According to official data, the incidence of parental care deprivation in Kazakhstan is relatively low and has been declining for several years. Comparison of the composition of population aged 0-17 in Kazakhstan by age groups with the age composition of the annual flow of children deprived of parental care shows that the risk of being deprived of parental care within one year is the greatest for newly born babies; it is almost three times as high as for children of all other age groups combined. The frequency of abandonment of newly born children in Kazakhstan, according to official reporting, has been declining for several Executive Summary Formal Care in Kazakhstan: The Budgetary Aspect years, but still remains high. Even though a significant share babies abandoned in maternity hospitals is placed in adoptive families soon after abandonment, some of the abandoned babies are transferred to orphanages when they reach the age of 4, and the average duration of stay in residential intuitions for this category of children is 2.5 years, according to the author’s estimates. In government spending on children in residential care, children who entered the residential care system as newly born babies use up the biggest share of resources among all other age groups at entry, because even though these children stay in the system for a short period of time they are the most numerous age group of children entering residential care each year.