Why we do it
Today, fewer and fewer children in Bulgaria are locked up in institutions. In this direction, with our help, 25 institutions were closed and only 4 remain. Institutions should not be a solution for the protection of children and it must stop because it leads to health, social, emotional and economic harm to society.
Institutions for children don’t just harm children – they harm us all
Children should be guaranteed to grow up in stable, loving family care. This affects a wide range of human development priorities, including health, education and economic activity.
There are children placed in institutions to have access to a good education. Despite parents’ hopes, they rarely get this.
But institutional education should never be seen as an acceptable alternative to providing inclusive education close to home. Parents should never be forced to choose between raising their child in their family or educating them. Despite the promises of institutions and the hopes of parents, education for children in institutions, if provided at all, is rarely satisfactory – leading to lower educational attainment and contributing to poorer life chances. As long as children with disabilities do not have access to high-quality education in the community, the pull of institutions will remain. Until all children can be educated in their own community, it will be difficult for children to return home from institutions. Access to quality educational services and positive school experiences in the community can improve children’s resilience and lead to better long-term outcomes for children and their families. This is a key part of the answer to preventing institutionalization.
Lack of access to health services pushes children into institutions. These institutions, in turn, can cause lifelong medical problems.
Discrimination against certain communities can increase the likelihood of institutionalization. In some contexts, disability is seen as a ‘medical problem’ requiring a medical solution in an institutional setting, rather than providing specialist support through a family-based care framework. This therefore puts many children with disabilities at risk of being separated from their families.
Our activity is aimed at reducing the harm from institutional care and its complete elimination. We are focused on not allowing children to be separated from families due to poverty, and where this is not possible to seek accommodation in a family environment. Another priority is that children with disabilities have access to family care.
Why do we do it?
Hope and homes for children – Bulgaria introduced an extremely effective practice District DI Coordination Mechanism. Through it, the responsible institutions team up to help preserve the integrity of the most vulnerable families. To those who are considered to have exhausted all forms of support. Happiness is the love of parents projected onto children and the cultural traditions of our society.
Another tool that we successfully implement is Active Family Support. Any assistance to families must be quick, adequate and timely. We aim to get parents out of crisis and into handling family responsibilities without becoming dependent on support.
We believe that:
• Children are our future.
• The family and its possibilities are the basis of society’s development.
• Social protection leads to an improvement in the quality of life of the entire society.
• All responsible institutions, non-profit organizations and other stakeholders can do it if they work together.
Become our partner – join the cause of Hope and homes for children today!