Dr Liliana Rotaru, Country Director, CCF/Hope and Homes for Children, Moldova

Dr Liliana Rotaru, Country Director, CCF/Hope and Homes for Children, Moldova

Hope and Homes for Children has been working in Moldova since 2001, initially working to strengthen family and community-based alternatives to orphanages. In 2005 we entered a long-term partnership with CCF Moldova to drive forward the reform of the national child protection system. We piloted the first closure of an orphanage in the country, as well as the closure of the first institution for children with disabilities. We are now on the brink of completing the first closure of institution for babies and young children. Our work over the last decade has seen the number of children living in orphanages reduce from 11,000 to approximately 1,000.

Hope and Homes for Children and CCF Moldova have led on the closure of nine institutions for children, supporting over 520 children to successfully return to families. We have piloted a range of initiatives to strengthen families, including after school clubs, day care services, a nursery, and a number of resource and advice centres for parents. Through this work over 1,700 children have been prevented from being separated from their families. For the small number of children who are unable to remain with their biological families we have developed foster-care services, as well as building and supporting a number of family-type and small group homes.

Over the years, over 5,000 participants have benefited from our specialist training programmes equipping them with the knowledge and skills to support the deinstitutionalisation process.

We are currently focussed on ending the practice of confining babies and young children to orphanages, leading the closure of 4 institutions across the country, among which three institutions for babies and one for school aged children. We are working closely with the Moldovan 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.

Since 2004, Hope and Homes for Children has worked in partnership with Hope for Families, a local organisation operating in the Transnistria region. We have developed several specialist services: day care, a mother and baby unit and a crisis centre. We have successfully prevented the separation of 390 children from their families and had over 450 participants in our specialist training programmes.