Child Protection System Reform in the Hellenic Republic Call to Action

Opening Doors for Europe’s Children

This paper presents a policy position which argues that, “as the Greek authorities map out the road to long-term recovery, several key steps to reform the child protection and care system should be taken as a matter of priority.” The paper was developed by Hope and Homes for Children (HHC) and Roots Research Centre in collaboration with Eurochild. HHC and Eurochild jointly coordinate the Opening Doors campaign which promotes an end to institutional care and the strengthening of families and is currently active in 11 countries, including Greece, where Roots is the national coordinator.

These reforms of the child protection and care systems are vital, say the authors, not only as a human rights issue, but also because they make economic sense. Implementing reforms in the child protection and care systems will help to build a more solid basis for recovery, says the paper. This call to action comprises three main elements: (1) Elimination of old-type institutions for children and transition towards a system based on family-based alternatives (e.g. foster care) and family-like residential care; (2) Increased, effectiveness and efficiency of prevention services to avoid institutionalisation, including through national legislation and policy reform; and (3) Provision of support to young people leaving the child protection system, according to individual needs, including through social housing and employment.

The paper calls on the Hellenic Government to take action in embarking on a nation-wide reform of the child protection and care system, aiming to eradicate child institutionalisation and to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families. The paper also calls on civil society organisations to support this call to action, by endorsing and promoting it.