Romania The Reintegrated Ones, The Children Thrown Back To Their Parents

April 16, 2007

Newspaper Jurnalul National, page 12
Country Romania
Type Daily
Rubric Economy

Comment: The article elaborates in detail on the negative side effects of the process of deinstitutionalization undertaken in Romania. The approach of the article is very polemic towards the role played by the EU in driving this reform. Despite this approach, the article remains of interest regarding the potential results of the reform of the Romanian child protection system during the last years. Considering the short period of time during which the reform was implemented and lack of previous experience, a strong argument can be made that the authorities acted in a hurry without fully taking into account the child’s best interest.

However of more concern remains the present situation and lack of efficient policies to address it. First, the number of children deprived of parental care1: in spite of the fact that Romania started a child protection reform in 1997, the number of children deprived of parental care has not declined as expected. In the early 1990s there were some 100,000 children living in the only form of protection available to children deprived of parental care at the time, namely public residential care institutions. At the end of March 2006, there are still 77,866 children living in institutions or family type care. Taking into account the low number of children born over the last 15 years, the percentage of children deprived of parental care might have even increase since 1989.

Secondly, today in Romania, little information is available about the quality of care and the wellbeing of children in the different form of placement. In addition, according to the information collected by Tdh while meeting different national and local NGOs, there is a shared and real concern about the risk of exploitation and trafficking these children face once they will leave the institutions or other form of alternative care.

These aspects should be seriously investigated at national level in order to:

  • Find adequate strategies of prevention to decrease the number of children deprived of parental care;
  • Increase the quality of care and services addressed to the children in the different type of institutions;
  • Elaborate strategies aimed at strengthening the full integration of these children in the society;
  • Monitor and follow up the integration process of these children once they leave the institutions;

Comment: Cristiano Barale, Delegate Tdh Romania


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