The 3 homes will accomodate 42 children from the Năsăud placement centre, which has been closed down
On 3 and 4 July, the Hope and Homes for Children Foundation, in partnership with the General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection (DGASPC) Bistrița-Năsăud and the Bistrița-Năsăud County Council, inaugurated three small group homes – two in Năsăud and one in Bistrița, which have been developed in the closing down process of the Năsăud placement centre. 42 children aged 3 to 19 from the closed down institution have moved in. The inauguration event was attended by Emil-Radu Moldovan, Bistrița-Năsăud County Council President, Mircea Romocea, mayor of Năsăud, Ovidiu Teodor Crețu, mayor of Bistrița, Delia Rus, DGASPC Bistrița-Năsăud Genera Director, Ștefan Dărăbuș, regional director, Central and South Europe, Bianca Stegeran, Hope and Homes for Children deputy national director and Florin Cobârzan, HR Business Partner, JYSK România, as well as by the children who have moved in the three small group homes.The three homes were furnished and decorated with the support JYSK România.
The closing down of the Năsăud placement centre started in September 2014, through the partnership between Hope and Homes for Children, DGASPC Bistrița-Năsăud and the Bistrița-Năsăud County Council. Back then, 70 children and young people lived in the centre. Throughout the project, the total number of beneficiaries amounted to 82 children and young people.
Hope and Homes for Children, together with DGASPC Bistrița-Năsăud, carried out an individual assessment of the children and young people in the placement centre, in order to identify transfer alternatives for each of them. In the closing down process, 40 children left the placement centre. 14 of them were reintegrated in their natural families and another 6 were placed with different families. 19 young people about to leave the childcare system received support through the social and professional integration programme: they were supported to find jobs, or they were reintegrated within the family they came from. One child was transferred to the Alternative Protection Centre of the Directorate. Hope and Homes for Children built three small group homes, two in Năsăud and one in Bistrița, to accommodate the children for whom family reintegration or care were not suitable alternatives.
The plots of land where the three homes were built were made available by the municipalities of Năsăud and Bistrița; the connection to the utilities network was covered by funds provided by the Bistrița-Năsăud County Council. The building and the furnishing of the homes were provided by Hope and Homes for Children, in partnership with JYSK România.
A small group home is a type of service that provides children and young people with an environment that is as similar as possible to that in a family home. Such homes accommodate 14 children who receive accommodation, care, education, emotional support and counselling for the development of independent life skills.
In late June, the 42 children were moved to the Năsăud 1, CTF Năsăud 2 and Bistrița small group homes. In total, Hope and Homes for Children has so far built 104 small group homes in its 20 years of activity in Romania.
After the children were moved to the three small group homes, the Năsăud placement centre was closed down, and the number of orphanages closed down by Hope and Homes for Children in Romania has reached a total of 56.
Emil-Radu Moldovan, Bistrița-Năsăud County Council President — “This is a moment of joy and I would like to thank our partners at Hope and Homes for Children for bringing to an end this very important chapter in the project we started years go. We all know what these child protection centres looked like in the 90’s, we all know what the conditions are now, and I am very happy that these children will have a good living. I am referring to the infrastructure, and I would very much like the staff working in this home, from teachers to psychologists to social workers, to manage to create the family environment that these children lack. I am very happy that our partners have invested significant resources in the two small group homes that we are inaugurating today. The investment amounts to about 400,000 EUR. I want these wonderful children to build the future Romania, they are the next generation and I hope they will live in a better Romania than the one we had. Thank you, Hope and Homes for Children, on my behalf and on that of people in the Bistrița-Năsăud county, I thank my colleagues from DGASPC and I want to see this partnership continue until we have no institutionalised child in our county”.
Ștefan Dărăbuș, Regional Director, Central and South Europe, Hope and Homes for Children — “We have been active in Bistrița for at least 10 years and we have her partners like few others in the country. The contribution of the County Council, of the DGASPC and of the mayors is no small contribution at all. DGASPC provides the staff and all the resources through the County Council, which guarantees the continuity of these services and above all an environment as close as possible to family life for these children. We want to close down placement centres with our partners, and we are doing this because any child needs this family-like environment. I am sure they will find it here. The DGASPC has some very efficient members of staff, I thank them for what they have done and continue to do with us – social workers, directorate employees, psychologists, carers in placement centres, carers in the new centres. I thank my colleagues at Hope and Homes for Children for working so hard in this project, which started in late 2014. I would like these children to have here the life that my children have at home and I hope that those who guard them, carers and DGASPC employees, will be able to give them exactly that.”
Delia Rus, DGASPC Bistrița-Năsăud General Director — “I want to thank our partners for making this project possible: Hope and Homes for Children, the Bistrița-Năsăud County Council and the Năsăud municipality; they have demonstrated that we are all responsible for social development. Based on the concept of family, these houses are here to fight against the label of orphanage child – through their appearance, organisation, communication; it is a label that unfortunately stigmatises these children for life. These homes offer children an environment that is much closer to a family, a community, they contribute to their harmonious intellectual development.”
Alex Bratu, JYSK Romania Country Manager — “About one year ago, we were starting our collaboration with Hope and Homes for Children. Back then, we knew about the Foundation’s objective, we had statistics about the number of children in the child protection system, the number of old type institutions, and we knew how important it is for these children to live in a warm, pleasant environment, a home of their own. Meanwhile, we have actually met part of the children who, thanks to the houses built by Hope and Homes for Children, have left the overcrowded placement centres and have moved into small group homes. We have seen their joy on entering their new homes, where only two or three children have to share a room, where they have their toys, their own bed, their own clothes, where they participate in household chores and live together like a large family. Like in any other home, they have a kitchen, a living room, they have their meals togethers, they spend time together and, gradually, they learn skills that will come in handy in their adult lives. After visiting the placement centre that the children had left, we realised that there was a huge difference between that environment and the one in the small group homes. This year, we will furnish at least 6 more homes, to the benefit of children in other counties.”