Romania Without Orphans Alliance (ARFO) recently published an independent reports offering a behind-the-curtain analysis of Romania’s current Child Protection System, including statistics such as retention rates or institutionalization rates based on protection methods and geography.
We encourage you to read the full report and here are only 3 of the most devastating concerns revealed by the report:
- There are serious concerns regarding the quality of social work. In recent years Romania has set standards for licensure in social work. While NGOs risk sanction and closure if they operate without this licensure, yet 83% of public services remain unlicensed because they cannot meet the same standards.
- Only 1.5% of institutionalized children are legally adoptable. This extremely small percentage of children that can be adopted out of institutions (1.5%) highlights a widespread practice of Romanian case managers, who usually work for the same local government agency that is receiving funds to house the children. Legally there are time limits and deadlines for opening procedures toward either reintegration in the biological family or adoption. In practice these deadlines are ignored and we are concerned this might be a tactic to secure funding for institutions and jobs for caregivers. Therefore, we propose sanctions be introduced to combat such a practice.
- Only 1.3% of children in the system were adopted in 2016. Out of the nearly 10,000 children who enter the Romanian Child Protection System every year, almost 70% can never be reintegrated in biological families. For these children, their only option for a permanent solution is adoption. Despite this reality, only 5.7% of children have been declared legally adoptable. The chances to adopt in Romania dropped dramatically after 2004, when international adoption was closed, and the process for Romanians to adopt was burdened. In 2004 there were 1,422 domestic adoptions, a number that has not been reached ever since.
We encourage you to have a look at the report and send it to any person or organisation interested in the topic.