To continue informing the regional authorities and advise central government for the appropriate allocation of resources made available through EU funding, Hope and Homes for Children conducted a massive national consultation process last year, involving over 200 decision makers and senior managers in all 47 county child protection departments and local authorities across Romania. The process revealed 5 priority areas for reform to be funded by the EU as necessary for deinstitutionalisation:
- Prevention of child separation from their families, a key element for the strengthening of families and communities at high risk and a key factor in eradicating the need for institutional care. Social housing made available for families with children, at severe risk of separation.
- Deinstitutionalisation finalised by 2020, as the pathway to reform, a necessary factor in achieving the shift in service design and provision, to steer social services to a family-like vision.
- Development of family and community-based alternative residential services, such as small family homes, apartments and social housing for families with high risk of separation and for youngsters leaving the child protection system.
- Exit plans to support youngsters leaving the child protection system, concrete support for their social and professional integration in communities and their full access to independent life.
- Capacity building and training for direct care staff, managers and decision makers in social services for children and families.
The 5 areas are considered to be the building blocks for future EU funded projects success and effective absorbtion, providing the appropriate mix of interventions needed to optimize the impact on the current system of care and the support the complete shift in the paradigm of service development and provision.