Obstacles that parents, caregivers and legal guardians face in Romania include: poverty, lack of access to social protection and health services, domestic violence, migration, living in remote areas. Apart from these, adults at times lack the knowledge and skills or access to resources enabling them to provide the best environment for child development.
Such shortfalls can lead to abuse, neglect and health issues, lack of attention, low communication and quality time spent with the child, low self-esteem and school dropouts. These severely limit children’s chances of breaking the cycles of poverty, thus affecting families for generations.
More than 15,000 cases of child abuse, neglect and exploitation have been reported in 2017, according to the latest statistics from National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption.
Violence against children is widespread. While extreme violence is seen as unacceptable (e.g. beatings, sexual abuse, rape), several forms of “mild” violence, like slapping, yelling, humiliation still tolerated in Romania.
According to a UNICEF study, more than half of all parents admit to raising their voice at their children while 11% admit to slapping a child or pulling their hair.
Evidence from around the world shows that non-violent discipline is the best in helping a child grow, and to being healthy and responsible.
The number of parents who abandon their children continues to be numerous. Almost 10,000 children end up in public care every year.
Despite progress, over the past 25 years, an estimated 400,000 Romanian children remain out of school, two out of 10 children don’t finish eighth grade and only six out of 10 go to high school.
With a decrease in vaccination coverage and spread of preventable diseases, it would appear that family health awareness is decreasing. The measles outbreak killed 59 persons, mostly children, according to the Ministry of Health figures.