From July 2018, the City Insurance company has directed 1 leu from each MTPL insurance policy issued to the Hope and Homes for Children Foundation. The funds donated by City Insurance were directed at programmes carried out by Hope and Homes for Children with the purpose of improving the lives of vulnerable children and young people in Romania, both those within the protection system and those at risk of being abandoned by their families. The programme preventing child-family separation provided the necessary support between July 2018 and May 2019 and kept 194 children united with their families.
The programme preventing child-family separation operates is closely linked to the de-institutionalisation process (closing down foster care centres), in order to prevent the separation of children from their families and their subsequent institutionalisation. It targets the cause of institutionalisation, trying to eliminate the risks of separation between children and their natural or extended families. Once a family is included in the Hope and Homes for Children programme preventing child-family separation, their needs and risks are evaluated, an intervention plan is drafted and different types of support are provided, including financial support. Furthermore, the family receives information and counseling so as to be able to guide their children throughout school, find a job, improve their parenting skills, manage material and financial resources, access social and medical services and so on. Hope and Homes for Children spends on average 873 euro per year to support a child at risk of being separated from the family, while the Romanian state spends the same amount monthly on a child put into a foster care centre.
Children and their families are the central concern of the prevention programme. Each intervention seeks to provide durable support with an impact beyond immediate results, stretching on medium and long periods of time. Apart from this, the programme runs community-oriented initiatives (from the family’s neighbours to the local authorities and the General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection), so that Hope and Homes for Children can make sure everyone understands the importance of prevention activities and all the stakeholders involved can provide their support for the succesful implementation of the programme, in every aspect where such needs have been identified.
Due tot the partnership with City Insurance, which is a main supporter of Hope and Homes for Children, 194 children from Bacău, Bihor, Bistrița-Năsăud, Botoșani, Brașov, Iași, Olt, Neamț, Sibiu, Maramureș, Suceava counties and from Bucharest (sectors 3 and 4) have received the support they needed in order to stay with their families. The support provided consisted of basic foodstuffs, health and hygiene products, clothing, school supplies, medicine, household items (furniture, stoves, carpets, drapes, wooden floors, household appliances, sanitary items etc.), help in paying the rent and utilities, construction materials needed to build or restore houses, counseling.
Apart from the support given in the programme preventing child-family separation, by means of funds directed by City Insurance towards Hope and Homes for Children between July 2018 and June 2019, 50 young people who had left the child protection system received assistance for a successful integration into society, 33 children from
the old-type institutions that are being closed by the Foundation have been reintegrated in their natural or extended families and 146 staff members and specialists working for the social assistance services in Iași, Neamț, Sibiu counties and in sector 4, Bucharest, have attended vocational training courses. Additionally, the financing process geared towards the construction of two small group homes will be partially finalised by the end of 2020. The houses will host 24 children, as part of the process of closing down the Foster care centre nr. 2 in Oradea (Bihor county).