The Illusion of Protection

This article provides a summary of the findings from the first comprehensive audit of Ukraine’s child protection system, conducted by Hope and Homes for Children. The audit was intended to investigate and understand how and why children are sent to institutions, the conditions they experience and the effect that institutionalisation has on their development and their life-chances. They found 100,000 children were confined to living in 663 institutions throughout the country. Only 9% of all children living in orphanages and residential facilities had lost both parents; the remaining children were placed in institutions by their parents as a result of poverty or lack of access to access education, health, and rehabilitation services. According to the research conducted, none of the families who placed their children in an orphanage due to poverty or poor living conditions received adequate social support to raise their children at home.