Armenia and the process of deinstitutionalization

Yerevan, Armenia. Photography credits: Roxana Todea

Source: Child Protection Network, Armenia 

On 18 September 2015 the Child Protection Network in Armenia organized a working meeting on the procedure of de-institutionalization, closure of boarding schools and problems raised as a result of this process. One of the main concerns expressed by the participants was the de-institutionalization process in the context of lack of alternative services. There are no community based services in Armenia that can provide support to the families in a comprehensive manner. There is need of solutions to the problems for a longer term as the allocated one-time financial support cannot be considered a sufficient measure.

A number of issues were discussed during the meeting, including introduction of the concept of community social service provider and the necessity of psychological services. In addition, the importance of additional regulations on the procedure of suspension or deprivation of parental rights and the development of standards on assessment of child care quality were also noted.

Participants to the meeting discussed future steps that can be taken by Child Protection Network in Armenia. It was decided to convene a meeting with relevant decision making bodies and raise concerns about deinstitutionalization processes that take place without preliminary preparatory activities.