« Protecting Childhood
Infant abandonment and institutionalisation still on the rise. 85 to 90% of the 100 000 children in orphanages and other residential institutions in Ukraine actually have parents.
These children are in institutions because there are no adequate support systems to help parents cope when they are unable to feed, clothe and educate their children.
Studies have been conducted by UNICEF and other non-government organisations, which demonstrate that raising a child in an institution such as an orphanage, hospital or other residential institution cannot provide the care and nurture that a healthy family environment provides.
No amount of internationally injected money and improvements in institutions can compare to living under the care and protection of a family.
In response to this crisis EveryChild Ukraine, implements ‘Prevention of Child Abandonment' project.
A mother & baby unit has been opened in Chernigiv to provide counsel and assistance to mothers 'at risk' of abandoning their infants. They will also have access to employment counselling, vocational and business training.
The project will also demonstrate alternative family and community based care for infants, including fostering, national adoption and reintegration with the birth family.
Social policies will also be developed to ensure that these initiatives are sustained and will begin to dismantle the system which has attributed to infant abandonment and institutionalisation.
It is hoped that once these mechanisms are in place, Ukraine's communities will be empowered to take ownership and responsibility for the socially vulnerable. Together, we can create a sustainable way of keeping infants and children out of institutions and in healthy, loving families.