Reform of institutions for orphans system in Ukraine

orphans system in Ukraine

300 days have passed since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin waged war in Ukraine. Some unofficial reports say that over 100,000 Ukrainian people have died in these horrible 300 days. Orphans and other at-risk children who wind up in Ukrainian orphanages continue to suffer from this war and from worsened neglect which this war entails for them. Over 7.5 million Ukrainian children have been deeply affected by this war. The war in Ukraine made the situation with orphans and other disadvantaged children dramatic, showed how deep the institutionalization problems are in Ukraine and the urgent need to reform it.

Support for Children from Ukraine

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Regardless of any estimations and dry statistical data, orphanage directors in the field report that since Ukraine’s independence they never receive all the funding they are entitled to by the state, having to rely on humanitarian assistance, donations from Christian groups, etc. On the other hand, the regional / oblast level of financing (the source of funding for most state institutions) still provides better “guarantees” for funding than the city/rayon level, where foster families (FFs) and family type homes (FTHs) receive their funds.

Save the Children of Ukraine

The government as represented by Ministry of Social Policy understands this problem and works on establishing the system where all funding for all orphans comes from one source regardless of where any orphan is located to avoid confusion and ensure better. This mechanism has been titled “money follows the child” and is currently being introduced to regional experts and officials for studying and feedback.

One idea repeatedly mentioned in the regions is that at the first stage the compromise could be not to target orphanages for severely disabled children such institutions should remain at this stage (similarly to the western model), as it will be rather difficult to find professional families for disabled children at this starting point of deinstitutionalization. Certainly, once there are families willing to raise seriously disabled children – – wonderful, and efforts should be made to find such families. However, in the manageable interests of today, in order to move the de-institutionalization process, make it public and educational for the entire nation, the deinstitutionalization process should start from moving thousands of non-disabled children to family upbringing.

In parallel, special efforts should be made to ensure biological parents of disabled are rehabilitated and supported whenever possible to take their children back home. As to orphanages staffing, those orphanage workers who are really committed to helping children, should be encouraged to take for professional upbringing (or adopt) those orphans they are attached to, while receiving financial support from the state just like any citizen of Ukraine who is psychologically and pedagogically fit and trained to raise children in small groups.

We continue to monitor and support orphans and other most disadvantaged children in Ukraine through a personal sponsorship program, please consider volunteering or partner with us!