Transforming Institutional Care

Romania’s Abandoned Children Ten Years After the Revolution

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In 1990, the world learned about a secret network of prison-like institutions housing thousands of children in Romania. Today, big orphanages are beginning to close as alternatives such as smaller residential homes, mother-child shelters, foster care, and family counseling take hold. Unwanted children were objects to hide and control. Today, Romania is putting the child’s well-being and family support at the center of social policy.

This is the story of how organized human compassion, international political pressure, a willing national government, and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have together changed Romania’s child welfare system.

Since 1990, the U.S. government has contributed mightily to the transformation of children’s lives in Romania. The U.S. Embassy in Bucharest submits this report to the American people as a testament to this grueling but noble effort.

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