Why we work in Ukraine

Before the war, Ukraine had one of the largest systems of institutional care in Europe, with almost 100,000 children living in 663 orphanages. 

What we do

Develop alternatives to 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. Since then, the mother and baby units have been replicated successfully in other areas of the country. 

Close orphanages

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.  

Prevent family breakdown

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 over 6,200 children and their families. 

I didn’t feel like a person.

Galina was trapped in an abusive marriage and close to despair. She knew that if she left with nowhere to live, Ivan and her older son, Roman, might both be taken from her and sent to live in an orphanage with no one to love or protect them.

Read Galina's story

“I will be grateful all my life for the help I’ve been given. Here help is not just words, it’s real”.

Galina, supported to keep her children through our programmes

Train professionals in deinstitutionalisation

Over the years, over 7,000 participants have benefited from our specialist training programmes, gaining invaluable skills in how to implement and support the deinstitutionalisation process. 

Work with the government

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 could now be replicated across Ukraine. 

Our work in numbers

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people trained in deinstitutionalisation

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children and families supported through our programmes

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orphanage closure demonstrated