Opening Doors, Pan-European De-Institutionalisation Campaign

Strengthening Families. Ending Institutional Care

The Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign aimed to strengthen families and end institutional care.

The campaign was a partnership between 5 international organisations and networks: Eurochild, Hope and Homes for Children, the International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO), the European branch of the International Federation of Educative Communities (FICE Europe), and SOS Children’s Villages International.

The campaign ran 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Spain, and Ukraine.

The campaign contributed to the prioritisation of child protection reforms and deinstitutionalisation in several countries: Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine.  These countries are seeing fewer children placed in institutional care and increased provision of family-based foster.

The campaign contributed to the EU including deinstitutionalisation reforms in its monitoring of social and economic reforms. The future EU budget is expected to specifically target resources to support the transition from institutional to family-and community-based care and promote social inclusion.

A safe and loving family environment is the best place for a child to thrive.


Myth Buster: Read the Q&A

This guide has been prepared for policymakers and those who need to learn more about deinstitutionalisation for children.

Maintain, strengthen, and expand: Read the report

How the EU can support the transition from institutional to family-based care in the next Multiannual Financial Network

Lessons Learned: Read the final report

This final report first reflects on the rationale for the campaign and how it operated; it discusses the progress towards child protection system reform across campaign countries as well as the developments at the EU level and gives final recommendations.

National Coordinators

AustriaFICE Austria
BelgiumLa Porte Ouverte
BulgariaNational Network for Children
Bosnia and HerzegovinaHope and Homes for Children BiH
CroatiaFICE Croatia
EstoniaEstonian Union for Child Welfare
GreeceRoots Research Centre
HungaryFamily, Child, Youth Association
MoldovaCCF Moldova
LatviaSOS Children's Villages Latvia
LithuaniaSOS Children's Villages Association in Lithuania
PolandChild and Family Foundation
RomaniaHope and Homes for Children Romania
SerbiaMental Disability Rights Initiative MDRI-S Affiliate of Disability Rights International
SpainFICE Spain
UkraineHope and Homes Ukraine


Zuzana Konradova, Thematic Coordinator - Children in Alternative Care, Eurochild

Closing Event: Photos

Opening Doors Closing Event