18 August 2016

Children with hearing impairments reunited with their families as specialist institution closes

Seven year old Vasile (pictured) left the Balti Institution in the Spring

Seven year old Vasile (pictured) left the Balti Institution in the Spring

We are delighted to report the successful closure of the Institution for Children with Hearing Impairments in Balti, Moldova.

Thanks to a close working partnership between Hope and Homes for Children and the local authorities, all the children who were housed in, or attended, the specialist facility are now living fulltime with their biological families or with loving foster parents. Seven year old Vasile (pictured) left the Balti Institution in the Spring.

Our focus now is on making sure that Vasile and all the other children from the Institution reintegrate successfully into their families and their communities.

The Balti Institution housed 19 young children, aged from four to eight years old, with varying degrees of hearing impairment. All the children could have been cared for at home, if their parents had had the right advice and support, but instead they were separated from their families and confined to a loveless institution.

Since the beginning of the year, Hope and Homes for Children have been working with local child protection professionals to close the Balti facility and find family-based alternative care for the children living there. This was a challenging process because many children had been sent to the Institution from other parts of Moldova and had lost touch with their birth families.

It is a tribute to the dedication of our staff and our partners in Moldova that 18 of the 19 children in the institution have now been reunited with their birth families and, in the one case where this was not possible, a safe and loving foster family has been found.

Our team will now continue working with parents and local professionals to make sure that all the children are reintegrated successfully into their families and their communities. This support includes:

  • training to help the parents understand the effects of institutions on children
  • guidance on recovery activities for children
  • practical advice on the use of hearing aids and other hearing aids
  • meeting with schools to prepare teachers to welcome the children into their classrooms
  • organising specialist appointments to check the children’s diagnosis and update their treatment plans.

All children, whatever their needs, have the right to live in a family. The mission of Hope and Homes for Children is to be the catalyst for the eradication of institutional care for children worldwide.