Bosnia and Herzegovina

The story of Hope and Homes for Children started in 1994 when a retired British UN Commander, Mark Cook, and his wife Caroline visited the Bjelave Children’s Institution in Sarajevo, Bosnia. There are currently around 2,000 children in orphanages throughout the country, half of whom are in specialised institutions for children with disabilities.

We completed the first orphanage closure in 2008, and currently have projects underway in three additional cantons: Sarajevo and Tuzla.

With a focus on family strengthening and foster care for those children who cannot remain within their biological families, to date we have successfully worked with over 1,500 children and their families. Over the year, over 2,300 social workers and child protection professionals have benefitted from our specialist training programmes, gaining essential knowledge and skills in alternative care, child protection and the implementation of deinstitutionalisation.

In Bosnia we have successfully influenced the development of a range of alternative care services such as foster care, small group homes and young adult support programmes. We have worked closely with government and civil society in the creation of relevant policies, service standards and national action plans to underpin and consolidate reform of the child protection system.