The Voices of Children Charitable Foundation welcomes the initiative of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the transformation of the system of guardianship for children remained without parental care. For many decades, the old Soviet boarding school system has failed to meet the requirements of upbringing children in a domestic environment, exists only for its own reproduction, significantly traumatizes children and does not prepare them for independent adult life.
At the same time, we would like to remind you that the National strategy for reforming the system of institutional care and upbringing of children for 2017-2026 has been adopted and is being implemented in Ukraine, although it is not actually followed, but has turned into a slogan and a cover for the long-term existence of the boarding school system.
We expect the President to take real steps to deinstitutionalize social services for children and the care system as a whole within the framework of European integration measures. The priority steps could include:
- Prohibition on accommodation of children in orphanages.
- Reduction of funding for the existing boarding schools.
- Incentive programs for the development of non-institutional forms of children care through family-based upbringing.
- Support for local communities to develop social services for children and families at community level.
- The earliest possible completion of reforming the service for children and its transformation into an effective agent of the state for the best protection of the interests of the child.
Given our many years of experience in working closely with children from orphanages, we believe that this reform is necessary both for every child and for the successful future of Ukraine.