Dialogue party opposes planned closure of Fót orphanage
Budapest, May 15 (MTI) – The co-leader of the opposition Dialogue party called on the government on Monday to abandon plans to close the children’s home in Fót while placing minors in facilities in other cities with poorer conditions.
The human resources ministry announced plans last month to close the Károlyi István centre, north of Budapest, in the summer of 2018 as part of the overall revamp of the country’s foster care system.
Tímea Szabó told a press conference that plans were afoot to move groups of children to institutions in Zalaegerszeg, in the west, and Kalocsa, in the south, while those confined to wheelchairs would be placed in a facility currently under construction at a factory site in Hatvan, in the north.
Szabó cited the ombudsman as stating in a report that the facilities in Zalaegerszeg and Kalocsa were overcrowded whereas the Fót centre was revamped in the early 2000s and children lived in houses for 8-10. The report also mentioned instances of child abuse in the Zalaegerszeg and Kalocsa two facilities, Szabó said.
She said she would inquire in writing about plans by the mayor of Felcsút, businessman Lőrinc Mészáros, to buy the Fót plot to build a wellness hotel.