Over the past 18 years, Hope and Home for Children Ukraine has created opportunities for children to grow up in a family environment and fulfil their potential; we have also developed viable models and services for supporting families and children that can be extended beyond our projects to other regions of the country.
To eliminate institutional care in Ukraine, the efforts of our organisation and those of our colleagues are not enough; the same is true for simply demonstrating successful practices. What is needed is a change in the way our child protection system works. Therefore, it is important to answer the questions about what is wrong with the current system and why it doesn’t work, what the causes are for preserving institutions and what the scale of this phenomenon is. An analysis of the capacity of government bodies and structures to ensure the rights of vulnerable children are protected is also needed.
We have tried to answer these questions through conducting a comprehensive study of the child protection system. The findings of which are presented in this report. This study is not exhaustive in elucidating the real situation in the functioning of residential facilities and their funding agencies or the interaction between different government bodies and social service providers involved in child protection. Despite the multitude of data collected we recognise that this is only the first step in filling the gaps and revealing evidence about Ukraine’s institutional system.
We hope this material will help all stakeholders to recognise the incompatibility of institutions and the rights of children, as well as the fragmented nature of our existing child protection system. We hope it will also spark professional discussion to seek better solutions, to develop a strategy for change to ensure a high standard of care and education of children and lead to the implementation of de-institutionalisation.
Halyna Postoliuk, Regional Director Hope and Homes for Children