Promoting family-based care for orphans in Ukraine
Eurochild and our member International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) shared how we are working in Ukraine with social workers from the City Council of Lviv as part of Ukraine’s 2022 Adoption Day
With the aim of raising awareness on the social significance of adoption, foster care and guardianship to ensure the right of every child to grow up in a family, Ukraine has established a yearly Adoption Day in September.
To mark this day, the City Council of Lviv, one of the largest cities in Ukraine, hosted a training for their social workers to learn from European perspectives on foster care for children. They invited Eurochild and our member, the IFSW, to deliver presentations as part of this training.
Despite several efforts over past 20 years, when the invasion of Ukraine began there were still 100,000 children growing up in larger residential care settings in Ukraine. About half of these children are children with disabilities.
Eurochild presented the lasting, harmful effects on institutional care for children’s development, and shared a European approach to eradicate institutional care for children. This included our learnings from the the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign and our work with the Martin James Foundation.
A child protection system reform should be built on the development of a range of:
- support services in the local community that aim to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families;
- quality alternative care options for children who need alternative care;
- support measures for young people ageing out and leaving care in their transition to independent living.
Local social workers from Lviv shared that there is a common understanding and agreement to transform child protection system in Ukraine, but the lack of funding is a main barrier.
The European Union, through its policies and funding, has played a pivotal role in deinstitutionalisation in Central and Eastern Europe, and we hope it will continue to do so in its support for Ukraine’s accession to the EU.
The International Federation of Social Workers, represented by Dr. Ana Radalescu, President of IFSW Europe, shared their work to establish a Community Social Work Centre in the Kamianets-Podilskyi Province in the south-west of Ukraine. IFSW has also established a National Association of Social Workers in Ukraine, the first of its kind.
In closing the event, Nazarii Petriv from Lviv City Council’s Social Affairs Department concluded that: “We are on the right way in promoting family-based care for orphans in Ukraine. We need more cooperation with EU and international organisations, especially those who work with kids affected by war”.
For more information, contact Ciaran O’Donnell from the Eurochild Secretariat.