Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s government will implement further measures as part of an overall revamp of the country’s foster care system, the human resources ministry said on Friday.
The aim of the restructuring is to part with the old system rooting in the idea adopted in the 1950s that abandoned children should be catered for separately from society, in state-run foster centres, the ministry said in a statement.
It noted that there have been several instances in the recent past that children in such large foster homes have become subject to sexual abuse, violence and bullying.
Under the revamp, the Károlyi István Centre for Children at Fót near Budapest will be first closed down in the summer of 2018, the ministry said.
In the coming years several other similar large, overcrowded and old facilities will be closed down to be replaced by cozier and friendlier foster homes, it said.
“Children growing up without their biological parents are given a real chance to start a life of their own if they become integrated into society,” the ministry said.
The ministry noted several measures already implemented by the government to improve the standards of foster care. These include streamlining the scheme of adoption, placing minors younger than 12 with foster parents, increasing the pay for foster parents and providing them free training.
Further, the government has submitted to parliament a bill on tightening child protection regulations in foster homes, the ministry said.