On March 18, in Kharkov, on the basis of the Regional Specialized Child Care Home No.1, the Interregional Panel Discussion was held on the matter of orphanage system reformation.
Discussions on Child Care Home Reformations were Held in Kharkov
The meeting was held within the project of Technologies of Social Orphancy Prevention of Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation “Development of Ukraine”. It gathered representatives of State Administrations of Kharkov, Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk regions, employees of orphanages and directors of non-governmental organizations. According to the No to Orphancy program manager Darya Kasyanova, the purpose of the panel discussion was sharing the experience between cities for reformation of the orphanage system enabling to bring it to a new level meeting the necessities of the Ukrainian society.
As Darya Kasyanova said, today’s main goal of joint work of social services and non-governmental organizations is the preservation of the biological family of a child, since in Ukraine the problem of social orphancy is especially dire. Families in difficult life circumstances are the main source of replenishment of orphanages.
“Over the last ten years in Ukraine there actually exists policy continuity with regards to children. As a result, today child care homes are 55% full. This is a very positive point, since maintaining a child at such an institution is very expensive in Ukraine. Alongside that, today we have vacant institutions and unused people potential. We may continue keeping our eyes closed to these obvious things. But then we face the risk of losing qualified personnel because at some point a not very well considered decision may be taken on redundancy. In my opinion, such panel discussions give an opportunity to seek for an optimal solution for improving conditions for protection of child’s rights, reorganization of the system with consideration of all child’s needs, which are so essential today”, noted Lyudmila Voynets, Head of the Department of the Commissioner for the President of Ukraine in the Child Matters.
Child care homes in Kharkov region also need to be reorganized, which means the transition from an orphanage in the classical meaning to an institution providing services for parents, who cannot raise their children independently, without the help of others. This mainly relates to families raising disabled children. Such institutions will give the whole range of services for helping children with special needs. The personnel will include recreation therapists, speech therapists, psychiatrists and other specialists. Also, these institutions will provide assistance to parents, who will be trained how to raise such children. Today, in Kharkov region, there are four child care homes and rehabilitative teams have been formed on their basis.
According to Director of the Regional Specialized Child Care Home Roman Marabyan, this institution already operates under the new scheme. Only 18 children out of 60 are social orphans, the rest being children with serious pathologies. Some of them are there with their parents, some – under supervision of caregivers. The main problem of the child care home is lack of specialists in the sphere of medicine since the State has provided no regulatory framework for this.
“We want the State to hear us and establish a new model for institutions of such types so that they won’t be in this transient condition. It is impossible to have the present staff, work model and schedule, and, at the same time, render services requiring other approaches. The principle of early intervention model may help a lot of kids”, remarked Roman Marabyan.
Specialists note that such modes of operation of these institutions will also resolve the problem of occupancy of child care homes, which are now half empty due to active adoption over the last eight years. Instead of closing down such institutions, they may be transformed into orphanages, which will help sick children and their parents.