where we work

Albania

About 600+ children are living in institutions, both public and private. Most of the children are social orphans. This number also includes children with physical and mental disabilities. Beyond that, each year approximately 1000 new children are identified as needing protection.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria has the highest child poverty in Europe – over 50 % of children live in poverty or are at risk of poverty. Poverty is the main reason why children are in care. Despite some government initiatives, more must be done to help families so that they can stay together.

Croatia

The estimated number of orphans in Croatia is 4000 and around half of them live in the institutions. There are generally no orphans on the street as the social system is taking care of their basic needs. However, the greatest problem is that there are not enough foster families and too many children are put into institutions.

DACH countries: Austria, Germany and Switzerland

Despite the relative wealth in the countries, there are still too many children who cannot grow up in a family environment; most of them live in institutions.

Egypt

There are no accurate statistics about the orphan children in Egypt, but the estimates show that they are about 3 to 5 % of the population. This means there are around 4 million orphans. Most of them live in 30,000 orphanages. It is also estimated that there are half a million children at risk or living on the streets.

Finland

Regarding child wellbeing, Finland is one of the highest-ranking EU countries – this is partly due to the universal public provision of pre-school daycare, school education, and health. Most families who receive support experience alcohol abuse and related issues; mental health problems, domestic violence, or inadequate parenting are often found in these households. Estimates suggest that one in ten children lives in family homes where alcohol abuse harms their development.

France

Statistics from 2021 state that 177,000 children and young people are in alternative care because they cannot live with their parents or wider family. This care consists of foster families, boarding schools, teenager centers, and in some cases, hotels. It is estimated, that between 7,500 and 10,500 young people are in such hotel institutions.

Israel

Foster care and adoption in Israel are according to religion, meaning Jewish families can only adopt Jewish children and the same for Christians and Muslims. Culture and language are also factored into the family placements. There is an average of 120 adoptions a year in Israel. The State often gives preference to keeping children at risk within the welfare system, whether in an institution or foster care.

Latvia

There are more than 6,000 children who are orphaned in Latvia. Less than 700 are in orphanages. Most of the children who are taken into institutional care have parents who, for various reasons, are unable to look after them.

Romania

One third of Romania's 3.7 million children are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. 400,000 school-aged children are not in school. Over 50,000 children are in the social care system and separated from their families, primarily due to poverty, violence, or abandonment.

Slovakia

Institutional care is no longer seen and supported as a solution for the situation of vulnerable children in Slovakia. The system of care for children went through transformation and so did the public awareness about the issue. Christian NGOs had an important and positive role in that process. However, the involvement of Christian families and churches is very limited.

Slovenia

By the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, children enjoy special protection and care. The state protects children whenever their healthy development is endangered and when other benefits for children require it. Within the framework of institutional care, there are social welfare training institutes in Slovenia that provide institutional care for children and adolescents with moderate to severe or severe intellectual disabilities.

Ukraine

The reform of the system of institutional care and upbringing of children started in Ukraine in 2016. The deinstitutionalisation reform focused on supporting the family to prevent hardships or conditions that would force parents to send their children to boarding school. The essence of the reform is creating such conditions and services for families and children in the communities that are necessary and sufficient for the child to be raised in a family.

United Kingdom

There are approximately 85,000 'looked after' children in the UK – that is children that are in the care system. Many will have suffered neglect or abuse; all will experience the trauma of loss and separation.
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