Ukraine

This country page features an interactive, icon-based data dashboard providing a national-level overview of the status of children’s care and care reform efforts (a “Country Care Snapshot”), along with a list of resources and organizations in the country.

List of Organisations

demographic_data

Demographic Data

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44.01 million
Total Population
UNPD, 2018
7.70 million
People
Total Population Under 18
Estimate
17.5%
Population Under 18
 
UNICEF MICS, 2012
2.5
People
Mean Household Size
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019); DHS, 2007
47.9%
Prevalence of Female-Headed Households
 
MICS 2012
Lower Middle-Income Country
World Bank GNI Status
World Bank, 2018
1.3%
Living Below Poverty Line
 
World Bank, 2018
26.1
GINI Coefficient
World Bank, 2018
0.751
Human Development Index
UNDP Human Development Report, 2018

childrens_living_arrangement

Children's Living Arrangements

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%
Country
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
72.7%
Living with Both Parents
 
MICS, 2012
i
*children aged 0-17
22%
Living with One Parent
 
MICS, 2012
i
*children aged 0-17
2.7%
Living with Neither Parent
 
MICS, 2012
i
*children aged 0-17
%
Effective
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN

children_living_without_bio

Children Living Without Biological Parents

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63%
Both Parents Alive
 
MICS 2012
19%
One Parent Dead
 
MICS 2012
19%
Both Parents Dead
 
MICS 2012

Children at Risk of Separation

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Children living below poverty line
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020
i
“A significant proportion of children are living in residential institutions based on written requests from parents who are unable to meet the child's needs because of illness, alcoholism, poverty or unemployment. Such parents consider placement of their children in specialized institutions as the only opportunity to ensure proper care and education.” (Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020)
Children with Disabilities
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020
i
The 2020 Alternative NGO report to the UNCRC states that "Instead of introducing regulations that improve the situation of families and contribute to raising the parental capacity, the legislation offers "relief" to parents by placing their children in boarding schools. Thus, the LoU "Fundamentals of the Ukrainian Legislation on Health Care"99 stipulates that for citizens with children facing problems of physical or mental development who require medical, social assistance and special care, the state can provide assistance by keeping children at babies' homes, children's homes, orphanages and other specialized child-care institutions at the expense of the state according to the will of parents or persons who replace them.'"
Left Behind Children (Migration)
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Alternative NGO Report to UNCRC, 2020
i
“In situations where [unaccompanied migrant] children have relatives ready to take care of them (and sometimes capable parents), are defined as ‘left without care,’ [they] are placed to the transit facilities and returned to countries of origin, where these children often do not have any social ties.” (Alternative NGO Report to UNCRC, 2020)
Children experiencing violence
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Alternative NGO Report to UNCRC, 2020
i
“Residential institutions are the most common form of placement of children separated from parents due to poverty, violence, disability, special educational needs of the child, etc.” (Alternative NGO Report to UNCRC, 2020)
Children of Parents Experiencing Illness
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020
i
“A significant proportion of children are living in residential institutions based on written requests from parents who are unable to meet the child's needs because of illness, alcoholism, poverty or unemployment. Such parents consider placement of their children in specialized institutions as the only opportunity to ensure proper care and education.” (Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020)
Children of Parents Experiencing Substance Abuse
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020
i
“A significant proportion of children are living in residential institutions based on written requests from parents who are unable to meet the child's needs because of illness, alcoholism, poverty or unemployment. Such parents consider placement of their children in specialized institutions as the only opportunity to ensure proper care and education.” (Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020)
Children Lacking Access to Services and Inclusive Education
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Opening Doors for Europe's Children Ukraine Factsheet 2018
i
Over 90% of children in institutions are placed in these facilities "due to such reasons as poverty, social vulnerability of families, lack of services or inclusive education in the community." (Opening Doors for Europe's Children Ukraine Factsheet 2018)

Formal Alternative Care Arrangements

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0 Families/Parents
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
0 Families/Parents
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Total Family-Based Alternative Care
- - Families/Parents
13,689 Children
Opening Doors for Europe's Children 2018
Foster Care
- - Foster Families/Foster Parents
13,689 Children
Opening Doors for Europe's Children 2018
Formal Kinship Care
- - Families/Parents
- - Children
i
According to the Opening Doors for Europe's Children 2018 Fact Sheet, "at the beginning of 2018, there were 13,689 children in foster care and 51,101 children in kinship care."
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Total Residential Care
759 Settings
104,000 Children
Opening Doors for Europe's Children 2018
Institutional Care
759 Settings
104,000 Children
i
Out of this total, 38 baby homes held 2,755 children between 0 and 3 years old.
Opening Doors for Europe's Children 2018

Parental Survivorship

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92.8%
Children with Both Parents Alive
 
MICS 2012
4.1%
Children with One Parent Alive
 
MICS 2012
0.5%
Children with Both Parents Dead
 
MICS 2012

Progress Indicators

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Country
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Effective
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
NO DATA AVAILABLE
Social Welfare Spending
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Alternative Care Policy in Line with the 2009 Guidelines
 
Limited
Source: Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020
i
In their Alternative Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a collective of Ukrainian NGOs calls on the Government of Ukraine to "bring national legislation in line with the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, in particular with regard to the definitions of 'alternative child care', 'institutional care', 'family-based care', decision-making on child placement, mandatory review of such decisions, and child participation." The report also calls on the government to "bring in line Article 143 (paragraph 3) of the Family Code on the possibility of depriving a child with a disability in a maternity hospital with Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child." Policies include: Cabinet of Ministers’ Resolution on Conditions and Functioning of Guardianship Care Authorities #866; The Law of Ukraine for Ensuring Organizational and Regulatory Conditions for Social Protection of Orphan Children and Children without Parental Care.
Centralised Authority on Adoption
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Commitment to Deinstitutionalistion
 
Partly
National Strategy on Reform of Institutional Care System for 2017-2026 and Action Plan
i
The Alternative NGO Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) notes that “the expected results of the Strategy do not match with the resources allocated. It will be therefore difficult to reduce the number of children in residential institutions by 10% starting from 2018.” However “on a positive note, it is worth noting that in 2016, several regulations were amended, which improved the status of orphans and children deprived of parental care, and became an important step in the deinstitutionalization.” A 2020 Call to Action coordinated by Hope and Homes for Children and Lumos further notes that care reform progress "so far has not been comprehensive and has been met with significant challenges that serve to preserve the current institutional system and risk rolling back the overall process of deinstitutionalisation." The Call to Action also states that "Recent high-level political statements and legislative initiatives are creating a ‘backdoor’ through which many children could be placed unnecessarily in institutions, bypassing the gatekeeping mechanisms that were designed to ensure that no child needlessly enters an institution. For instance, on January 16, 2020 a law was approved which allows the creation of pensions for residence, instead of internats, within special boarding schools. And on 21 August 2020 an order was issued, requesting to amend and exclude special boarding schools, education and rehabilitation centres and sanatorium boarding schools for children from the National Strategy for Deinstitutionalisation. If implemented, this decision would affect more than 50.000 children warehoused across 353 institutions, many of whom have a disability, developmental disorder and/or illness."
Comprehensive Child Protection Law
 
Partly
Source: Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020
i
Laws include: The Law of Ukraine on Protection of Childhood, The Law of Ukraine for Ensuring Organizational and Regulatory Conditions for Social Protection of Orphan Children and Children without Parental Care, The Family Code of Ukraine, The Civil Code of Ukraine; Law of Ukraine for prevention of and addressing to violence; Law of Ukraine on Access of Personal Data and Information; Law on public service; Law on Social Services
Continuum of Alternative Care Services Available
 
Limited
Law No. 2342-IV defines the following forms of placement: adoption, guardianship, foster care, family-type orphanage, baby home, children's home, boarding school (Kryvachuk, 2018)
i
"The development of family- and community-based care has been very limited. In other words, services to support families and children are not available. There are also limited family-based care alternatives." (Building a rights-based child protection system in Ukraine, free from institutions, December 2020).
Data System
 
Partly
National Deinstitutionalisation statistical platform: http://diplatform.org.ua/
Existence of a Regulatory Body and Regulatory System
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
The Alternative NGO Report to the CRC calls on the government to "strengthen the legislative and regulatory framework in order to facilitate family reintegration."
Gatekeeping Mechanism/Policy
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Means of Tracking Progress with Reforms
 
Yes
The Ukrainian Child Rights Network utilized the Tracking Progress Initiative Tool in 2018
Moratorium on Admission into Institutions for Children Under 3
 
Limited
The National Strategy stipulates the implementation of a ban on the placement of children under 3 in institutional care starting in 2020
i
"One indicator of the national strategy stipulates the implementation of a ban on the placement of children under 3 in institutional care, starting from 2020. Yet, as of 01 January 2020, 2,742 children remained confined within 38 baby homes." (Building a rights-based child protection system in Ukraine, free from institutions, December 2020).
Moratorium on New Institutions
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
National Action Plan to Guide Reforms
 
Yes
National Strategy on Reform of Institutional Care System for 2017-2026 and Action Plan
i
"The National Strategy of Reforming the System of Institutional Care and Upbringing of Children (2017-2026) and the Action Plan for the implementation of its first stage were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in 2017. In June 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Action Plan for the second stage of the reform." (Building a rights-based child protection system in Ukraine, free from institutions, December 2020).
National Standards of Care
 
Partly
Cabinet of Ministers' Decree #565 and Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine #564
Prevention of Separation Services Available
 
Limited
Source: Opening Doors for Europe's Children 2018 Fact Sheet
i
According to the Opening Doors for Europe's Children 2018 Fact Sheet, "there is a lack of commitment to pursue sustainable child protection reform at the local level. Institutions continue to get public funding and resort to expanding the categories of children to avoid closure. Due to conservative and inflexible budgetary regulations, reallocation of existing resources for deinstitutionalisation or further development of community-based services are not possible either." Furthermore, "the development of community-based services for children and families is largely sporadic due to the lack of funding, lack of legal framework, lack of quality standards or low capacity of the service providers. Where services exist, they are mostly provided by the nongovernmental and civil society organisations and are severely underresourced, especially in rural, remote or deprived areas where needs are the highest."
Support for Careleavers (in Legislation and in Practice)
 
Limited
Source: Hope and Homes for Children, 2015
i
According to a 2015 Hope and Homes for Children report, "legislative acts governing education, health, and social protection of children lack a single, child-centred approach and clear principles, which would combine prevention and support for families with children, provision of education, delivery of health and social services, addressing housing issues and the socialisation of children and young people leaving the institutional care system." Furthermore, the report finds that "Children living in institutions receive no meaningful training on how to live an independent life. There are only a few documented cases where volunteers and NGO representatives organise special courses on life skills for institutionalised children."
7.00 billion
UAH
State Funding for Institutions
Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, 2020
i
According to the 2020 Alternative NGO Report to the UNCRC, in 2014, 5.1 billion UAH (approximately $255 million) were allocated from the state budget to fund institutions, in 2015, about 6.4 billion UAH (approximately $291 million), in 2016 - more than 7 billion UAH (about $280 million). A 2020 Call to Action coordinated by Hope and Homes for Children and Lumos notes that "There have been instances of opposition and malpractice by the authorities which manage institutions (including baby homes), particularly in relation to funding and budgets. In some cases, children have been misdiagnosed to ensure their placement in an institution, e.g. to stop a planned closure and keep public funding flowing in. In other cases, institution directors have re-categorised their facilities by changing the name but not the reality of the setting." Furthermore, "the money does not follow the child, meaning that the statutory funding received by institutions is not transferred once the children are reintegrated into the community, leaving cash-strapped local authorities struggling to pay for the new services to support vulnerable families to stay together."

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Key Stakeholders

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Government
Effective

drivers_of_institutionalisation

Drivers of Institutionaliziation

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Push Factors
Pull Factors
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Key Data Sources

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 257

List of Organisations

The Ukraine Children's Care Group,

МЕТОЮ ЦЬОГО ДОКУМЕНТУ З РЕКОМЕНДАЦІЯМИ є надати певну рамку для підтримки фахівців-практиків і посадовців, відповідальних за вироблення політики у сфері опіки та піклування над дітьми, як в Україні, так і в країнах, які приймають біженців, у рамках заходів реагування, що стосуються опіки та догляду за дітьми в контексті України у відповідності до міжнародних стандартів і належної практики у сфері опіки та піклування та забезпечення альтернативних форм догляду.

Sarah Slobin, Joanna Plucinska - Reuters,

Ukraine says it dismissed nearly 100,000 children from institutional care. With help from U.N. child agency UNICEF, it is still trying to reach some 26,000 of them.

Ukraine Children’s Care Group,

Under the auspices of the Ukraine Children’s Care Group, one of two learning events were held in July and September 2022. This event, "Addressing the need for foster care in the context of the Ukraine crisis", was held on September 7th in collaboration with HDPI. It focused on better understanding the foster care systems and services in Ukraine and neighbouring countries hosting Ukrainian refugee children, specifically Poland, Romania, and Moldova.

UN Human Rights Council,

UN human rights experts today expressed concern about the situation of children with disabilities in Ukraine placed in institutions and being displaced to other institutional settings either within Ukraine or further afield.

Ruth Clegg - BBC News,

Disabled children are being abused and neglected in institutions across Ukraine, UN experts have warned. The human rights officials said the war had made their situation even worse and called on the Ukrainian government to right its "historic wrongs".

Jo Shelley, Jason Carroll, Charbel Mallo, Daria Markina - CNN,

Fourteen-year-old Serhii Sorokopud is still haunted by what happened when Russian tanks rolled into his village five months ago. He lifts his T-shirt to show the deep scars across his back -- a reminder of a trauma both hidden and visible.

Ivana Kottasová - CNN,

Luiza Baloh left her home in Dnipro, central Ukraine, in March. Fleeing the constant sound of explosions, she and her five children came to the Czech Republic hoping to find refuge. Instead, they found themselves behind a barbed wire fence in a repurposed immigration detention center that was, she says, dirty and full of strangers, some of whom were aggressive towards her and her children.

Amanda Brydon, Rebecca Smith, Nolan Quigley, Marie Raverdeau,

Coverage of the conflict in Ukraine has been a stark reminder of the pace and extent to which war turns lives upside down. The terrifying experience of conflict sees people turning to loved ones and places that are familiar and comforting. Children are no different. And yet, even before the war in Ukraine started on 24 February, for over 100,000 Ukrainian children the familiar wasn’t a family environment, but an institution.

Joshua Askew - Euronews,

In July, Russian mortars rained down on a psychiatric home in northern Ukraine, while dozens of elderly and disabled residents were sleeping.

Flames soon swept through the facility’s dining room, and its dormitory and administration buildings were wrecked. Miraculously, only three people were injured. But it marks the latest in a series of deadly attacks in which some of Ukraine’s most vulnerable have been caught up in a savage conflict far beyond their control.

Ivana Kottasová, Ana Sârbu - CNN,

There was nothing obviously untoward about the woman who approached the Palanca border crossing between Ukraine and Moldova with a 15-year-old boy she said was her nephew. But something about the pair just seemed odd. The boy, in particular, appeared embarrassed and uncomfortable.