Source: Georgian Coalition for Children and Youth
Tbilisi, April 22
The new national campaign All Children in the Family was initiated by the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs in Georgia last week. The campaign aims at raising awareness of child care reforms and of the services and programs that have been established in partnership with private foundations as well as international and local NGOs in order to ensure that all of Georgia’s children grow up in a family environment. The Minister Mr. David Sergeenko attended the event last Friday in Tbilisi.
The Government of Georgia started the de-institutionalization process of children living in large scale residential institutions in the late 1990s with the adoption of the Law on Foster Care. The goal of the ongoing child care reform is to protect and support the development and socialization of vulnerable children including children with special needs, children deprived of parental care, children victims of abuse, children living and working on streets, etc.
So far, 47 children’s institutions have been closed, 52% of 5,200 children have been reintegrated with their biological families, almost 400 children live in small group homes and 1,262 children have been placed in foster care. However, the de-institutionalization process still remains a priority as there are two state institutions for children with disabilities that should be closed in the coming years. The gate-keeping system shall be strengthened to prevent child institutionalization and family-strengthening services shall be broadened in the nearest future to make the reform sustainable.
The campaign All Children in the Family is initiated by the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs and supported by the Georgian Coalition for Children and Youth, the Natakhtari Fund, the State Social Service Agency and the Patriarchate of Georgia.