01 March 2017

New legislation offers hope to children in Bosnian orphanages

Ada in her very own bedroom in her new foster home

A new law on fostering, recently adopted by the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, means that many more children may soon be able to leave orphanages to join loving families.

The legislation ensures that foster care in Bosnia will be subject to detailed regulation for the first time. Crucially, it also recognises that family based-care should take priority over institutional care and that money spent on maintaining orphanages and other institutions should be spent on foster care.

Hope and Homes for Children and our partners have advocated tirelessly for the new law over many years and our team in Bosnia played a key role in framing the legislation.

Anisija Radenkovic, our Joint Country Director in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said,  “We are very proud of our contribution to the new law on fostering because it means that we will be able to help more children without parental care.

“I am particularly pleased that it will now be a legal requirement for children under the age of four, who are separated from their parents, to be placed with foster families, rather than put into institutions”, she added.

Hope and Homes for Children is currently working to close Bjelave, the largest orphanage in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

Ada was six years old when she was sent to live in Bjelave. She spent two years in the orphanage with no one and nothing to call her own. Last year we found a loving foster family to give Ada the support and protection she needs and you can read her story here.

Our team in Bosnia is optimistic that the new law on fostering will now make it easier to recruit and train the foster carers they need to guarantee a loving family for many more of the estimated 1,500 children still living in orphanages there.