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Moving Forward: Implementing the 'Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children'

De-institutionalisation strategy, Moldova

Focus 3: Strategies for de-institutionalising the care system

Moldova has introduced de-institutionalisation reforms as part of its 2007-2011 Strategy and Action Plan.

The number of children in residential institutions has decreased by 50% since the beginning of the reform from 11,442 at the end of 2006 to 5,723 at the end of 2011. This has been achieved through more successful preventive work to help families to continue to care for their children at home and the reintegration of over 900 children into their community, the majority (86%) with biological or extended family.

For children who cannot continue to live with their families, family-based alternatives are overtaking residential care as the most likely option for the alternative placement of children. The Government has taken ownership of the reforms, which has been crucial to their success, and the strategy has involved forging partnerships with a wide range of NGOs to provide coordinated support to Government in implementing these reforms.

A number of important sustainable changes have been introduced to help achieve these changes, including a national network of social workers within the community, a nationwide system of gatekeeping commissions, development of family-type alternatives with the number of children in foster care having doubled, the development of family support services and the closure/transformation of residential institutions.

For more information visit: www.unicef.org/moldova/reallives_20084.html

International Social Service, Oak Foundation, SOS Children's Villages International, unicef, ATD Fourth World, Better Care Network, Family for every child, ngo group for the crc, PEPFAR, RELAF, Save the Children, USAID