Because families hold a fundamental responsibility for children, and can provide a natural environment for their growth, well-being and protection, UNICEF is working to ensure that whenever possible, children remain with their families and are not placed in institutions. In this regard, UNICEF continues to advocate for children in institutions to be returned to their parents, or to close family members when appropriate, and to ensure that children are only removed from their homes when it is in their best interest. UNICEF also promotes the use of suitable alternative types of family-type care for children who cannot be reunited with their parents, such as adoption, kinship care, and fostering.
Child Care Reform
More comprehensive child protection system working as one
What we do for child care reform
Achievements to date
- Five UNICEF-assisted Family and Children’s Support Service teams have provided support to children and families, and have improved their access to community social services, in order to prevent the placement of children in institutions;
- Staff working in child care institutions have been retrained, with the support of UNICEF and the Republican Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children, in order to raise awareness of the need to keep children with their families, and to reunify institutionalised children with their biological families whenever possible.
- The assistance of the government in developing a comprehensive strategy for the reformation and de-institutionalisation of child care, with a primary focus on children aged up to three years old;
- The development of professional skills that can resolve child protection problems at a family and community level, prevent institutionalisation, and establish community-level services to support and assist families at risk;
- The development of alternatives to family care, including foster placements and adoption;
- The raising of community awareness of the detrimental effects of institutionalisation, and the need to keep children within the family environment;
- The enhancing of the capacity of personnel within institutions to provide alternative forms of support to children who are returned to their families, or provide suitable forms of alternative care if returning home is not an option.