In Europe an estimated one million children were living in alternative care in 2009. Many of those children were confined to harmful institutions. Newer data shows that still 345,000 children live in institutions in the EU today. This includes children with disabilities, children without parental care, children in the child protection system. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children set out orientation to turn the UNCRC into reality for children without or at risk of losing parental care. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) emphasises that a child should not be separated from his or her parents on the basis of disability. How does this translate in concrete steps towards deinstitutionalisation? What are lessons learned from other countries and what are challenges? Eurochild has been driving deinstitutionalisation projects including the Opening Doors for Europe's Children Campaign since 2009. In the campaign that lasted 7 years (2013-2019) with goals to strengthen families and to end institutional care for children in Europe we advocated at national and European levels for better policies and funding. Eurochild is co-chairing the European Expert Group on Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care in 2021.
Following the lessons learned, in cooperation with partners from the Martin James Foundation we aim to highlight the global trends and to reflect on recommendations for child protection and specificities of the German context.
This expert forum aims to provide a space for leading experts and practitioners to discuss developments towards family-based care and reflect on researches, experiences and practices in the EU and globally. Taking into account that deinstitutionalisation is one of the funding priorities of the EU funds 2021-27 for all Member States. Moreover, the European Child Guarantee Recommendation will address the needs of children in adversity.
It will be a 90-minute expert panel discussion moderated by Eurochild Secretary General Jana Hainsworth and CEO of the Martin James Foundation Justin Rogers. Martin James Foundation is a global charity group with more than 30 years of experience of providing children’s care services to support children who have been displaced through family breakdowns or forced migration.
Speakers include international and domestic experts from academic field, practitioners, and the European Commission's representative.