Promising Change: Romani Children in State Care in North Macedonia

09 November 2023

This report details the challenges and progress made by the North Macedonian Government with regards to Romani children in state care since its launch of the National Strategy on Deinstitutionalisation 2018–2027. The report was based on research conducted by the ERRC, which includes a series of interviews with representatives of institutions, front-line service providers and NGOs, small care home staff, and foster-carers, as well as parents from families at risk, and young people who have been ‘through the system’. 

By way of contrast to neighbouring countries, North Macedonia offers an example of a deinstitutionalisation process in action, whereby the government has shut down all large-scale child care institutions, and pledged that residential care will be supplanted with community support services and community-based living services. The report examines the progress made on deinstitutionalisation, what impact it has had on vulnerable Romani children and their families, and what kind and quality of care and support is actually available in the community.

The report also includes recommendations to mitigate the risks to successful deinstitutionalisation as well as recommendations regarding the need for expanded coverage of family social services including parental programs; increased investment to ensure Social Work Centres and Small Group Homes are fully staffed and adequately resourced, and to strengthen and expand the foster care system. 

The report, Promising Change: Romani Children in State Care in North Macedonia can be downloaded here.



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