Lessons Learned and Recommendations to Strengthen Families and End Institutionalisation for Children in Europe


Date of publication:  20 Jan 2020 Author:  Zuzana Konradova, Jana Hainsworth (Eurochild) Louise Bonneau, Michela Costa, Emmanuel Sherwin (Hope and Homes for Children) Margherita Leone, Valerie Ceccherini (SOS Children’s Village International) Jean Anne Kennedy, Danielle Douglas (International Foster Care Organisation) David Astiz (International Federation of Educative Communities Europe) Publisher:  The Opening Doors campaign Publication type:  Lessons learned

The transition from institutional to family- and community-based care has received growing support from the European Union and its Member States. On one hand, the EU has been issuing policy guidance and allocating significant amounts of EU funds while, on the other hand, countries across Europe are increasingly adopting strategies or action plans to shift away from institutions. More and better family-based care options are available for children unable to grow up with their families of origin.

Since 2013, the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign tried to influence and monitor these developments at national and European level, using our expertise from the ground.

Based on the information gathered throughout the course of the campaign and through the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children National Coordinators, this final report

  • reflects on the rationale for the campaign and how it operated (part 1),
  • discusses the progress towards child protection system reform across campaign countries as well as the developments at the EU level, while highlighting some key contributions of Opening Doors throughout the years (part 2),
  • draws on the lessons learnt from the campaign, the report ends by presenting some final recommendations to the European Union (part 3).
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European Union

This project is funded by: