Hope and Homes for Children has worked in Ukraine since 1998. Ukraine has one of the largest system of institutional care in Europe, with almost 100,000 children living in 663 orphanages. Our work began with the development of a number of family based alternatives to institutional care , followed by the creation of services for mothers and babies. In 2007 we began a pilot closure of an orphanage near Kiev, allowing us to demonstrate how, through the development of quality family support services and family based alternative care, institutions are unnecessary. As a result of this project, the first Centre for Social Support was created in 2010. Since then the model has been replicated successfully in other areas of the country.
Our work to prevent family breakdown has seen us invest in a mix of bespoke family and community-based services. We have developed a network of day centres, emergency reception centres, mother and baby units and community centres to support families and to date have successfully worked with almost 2,500 children and their families.
Over the years, 3,500 participants have benefited from our specialist training programmes, gaining invaluable skills in how to implement and support the deinstitutionalisation process.
We have worked closely with the Government of Ukraine on the development of policy, service standards and national action plans to consolidate reform of the child protection system.
In November 2016, we celebrated the Government of Ukraine’s decision to officially recognise Hope and Homes for Children’s Centre for Social Support. A key milestone in recognising the centre’s effectiveness in strengthening families and preventing children from entering the care system, the endorsement of the Ukrainian Government means these services will now be replicated across Ukraine.