The Crețu family from Baia Mare (Maramureș) consists of parents and 11 children and they joined the programme to prevent child separation run by Hope and Homes for Children Romania in 2011. At the time, the parents had no job, no house, they all lived in the paternal grandfather’s house, and the relations with him were tense due to lack of income, the grandfather wanting to evacuate them. The children did not have birth certificates, one of them had difficulty moving due problems with the foot, none of them was enrolled in kindergarten, and children of school age did not attend classes.

Hope and Homes for Children helped the Crețus various times, by purchasing clothing, blankets, quilts, a stove for cooking and heating, food, and helped with obtaining state benefits for all children, formalizing the relationship between the parents, submitting documents to obtain social support, facilitating access to education for four of the children, accessing appropriate treatment and significantly improving the health of children with special needs until their full recovery.

Following the provision of these services, the foundation was able to prevent child separation for 10 children. The eleventh child, a daughter, got married. Due to an orthotics and specialized services, the child with special needs managed to fully recover and use both his feet without problems. All children attend school and kindergarten now because they have clothing, footwear and school supplies. For a period of time both parents were employed. At present, the father is on paternity leave, being employed at a company in the city. The children’s mother was employed for the first time in her life with the support of Hope and Homes for Children, at a catering company, where, for a while, she helped washing the dishes and peeling vegetables for the kitchen. The company went bankrupt, and the mother did not manage to get another job, and at present she is at home, taking care of the children.

Meanwhile, the grandfather died and left the house to the Crețus. This year, Hope and Homes for Children helped the family change the damaged roof by buying the necessary materials and paying for labour. Now their living conditions are much better, for both the children and the parents, and Hope and Homes for Children will continue to monitor the situation and intervene for the family to help, if needed.

Text by Florina Crețar