Half of the children in orphanages in Moldova have found a family
Chisinau, November 9, 2012 – The conference entitled "Child Care Reform: Reflections on the Future" was organized by the Government together with development partners and civil society to analyse the results of the reform and its continuity in the context of developing a new Child and Family Protection strategy in Moldova.
Reducing the number of abandoned children is due to deinstitutionalization efforts, but also due to prevention of new entries in institutions.
According to experts, progress was lower for children with disabilities and young children aged 0-3 years. Currently there are approximately 5,500 children living in orphanages, many of them with different disabilities. Further, reform actions should be focused primarily on those groups of children, the report noted.
However, efforts are needed to increase the number of alternative family services and community support centres for families in need. Most of the children returned to their biological families and very few children were placed in alternative care, such as foster families, family type homes or small group homes.
The evaluation report further recommends a better budget planning including redirecting savings from the liquidation of residential institutions to community services for vulnerable children and families.
The assessment of the residential child care system reform was produced by the Government of Moldova, with the support of UNICEF Moldova and nongovernmental organizations. The evaluation was conducted from March to June 2012 by an international expert in the field of child protection, assisted by Terre des Hommes Foundation and a local research company.
NOTE: The Government of Moldova approved the National Strategy and Action Plan for the residential child care system reform in July 2007. At that time, a number of 12,000 children lived in orphanages and boarding schools in Moldova. The aim of the reform was to "ensure the right of children to grow in a family" and reduce the number of children from residential institutions by 50%, including reorganizing and developing services for alternative family care (family type homes, foster care, small group homes). Thus during this period due to the efforts of the local and international community the reform objective has been achieved - more than half of the children from institutions have found a family and 11 of the 67 residential institutions were closed. There were created 105 community centres for vulnerable families with children, 36 small group homes and 80 family type homes.