HN: More abandoned children admitted to families now

Prague, May 13 (CTK) – More and more abandoned children end up in families instead of in institutional care as a result of one of few successful government social reforms, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes Monday.

It writes that a number of the institutes have been receiving up to one third children less than before for a fourth month in a row.

HN mentions, for instance, the child centre Ostruvek (Islet) in Olomouc, north Moravia ,that admitted 26 children in January-April 2012 compared with a mere 16 in the same period this year.

The new situation is due to changes in legislation. “Children are already placed in transitional families soon after birth and they do not need institutional care at all,” HN quotes Petra Spornova, spokeswoman for the Moravia-Silesia Region, as saying.

This practice has long been implemented in western Europe. It only appeared this year in the 10.5 million Czech Republic with 11,000 children in institutional care ranking among the worst.

The new legislative conditions provide for that care of others’ children is no longer charity rewarded with some 3000 crowns monthly, but a regular job with a claim to holiday or psychological support, HN writes.

The total of 9,000 registered foster families last year has increased to 9,800 now and it continues to rise, also in the sphere of “crisis fostering” for which it is most difficult to find substitute families, HN writes.

The crisis fostering conditions include the family’ readiness to accept a child anytime and to take care of it for different periods of time, the paper writes.

“Interest has exceeded our expectations. We thought first that it would be success if there were 100 crisis foster parents, but we already have more than 70 of them now and another 70 will soon complete their specialist training,” HN quotes Miroslav Macela, from the Labour and Social Ministry, as saying.

Regions will have to take on new social workers in the interest of better work with the families. An increase of about 20 to 30 percent in the number of social workers will cost some 400 million crowns, but it should eventually benefit the state, HN writes.

Support to a family in crisis costs the state an average of 8,000 crowns annually while placing a child in an institution is about five times more expensive, HN writes.

The negative aspects are also evident in the health condition of children from institutes. They suffer 16 times more often of a psychiatric diagnosis than people who grow up in a family, according to statistics. They suffer of traumatic condition 20 times more often and up to 56 percent of them end up as crime offenders, HN writes.

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