Based on our track record in deinstitutionalization and managing quality alternative services for children and families, Equilibrium was invited to take part in an international forum, Children in Families (16-18 August), organized by Hope and Homes for Children UK and Miracle Foundation. The event was supported by London Business School which provided the venue.
The Executive Director of Equilibrium, Galina Bisset, exchanged experience with colleagues from 25 NGOs who implement deinstitutionalization programmes in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. All participants shared the view that institutional care for children is unacceptable and efforts should be made on a global basis to create or reform child protection systems to make them free of institutions. In the European region working group, Galina shared how DI is being implemented in Bulgaria and the role of Equilibrium in eradicating institutional care in Ruse region and supporting the national reform – what worked, key learnings and what is still to be achieved. Among the participants Bulgaria was one of the few countries about to close all of its institutions for children and a valuable source of experience in multiple dimensions of the process. Having shared strengths and achievements the participants were asked to work on 5 themes that came about: vision, messaging, readiness, collaboration and funding, necessary to create a global momentum for making institutional care for children history. Equilibrium will continue to participate in and support the follow up actions of the forum, thus bringing its regional and national know-how to the international level of the dialogue about full implementation of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children issued 9 years ago.