Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on Monday that gives great support to our vision of a Russian Christian Foster Home. HRW conducted over 200 interviews with current and former orphanage workers, as well as parents in 10 orphanages of six different regions within Russia.
“Nearly 30 percent of all children with disabilities in Russia live in state orphanages where they may face violence and neglect. Russia should stop abuse of children with disabilities in state care, and make it a priority to provide support for children with disabilities to live with their families or in other family settings, rather than in institutions.”
Russia lacks a federal system to place children with disabilities in foster or adoptive families. And parents in these families reported obstacles to raising children with disabilities in their communities, including lack of support and opportunities for education and other services. They also described negative attitudes by government officials.
The Russian government should create a time-bound plan to end institutionalization of children, Human Rights Watch said. Placing children in state care should be only for the short-term and in very limited circumstances that serve the best interest of the child and comply with international human rights law. The government should also provide social support and services to families to help them raise children with disabilities at home.
It’s our hope that our first Russian Christian Foster Home will be the beginning of a movement within a community, where people will have the opportunity to interact with former orphans, stigmas will be broken, and more people will get involved in orphan care ministries, as well as adoption and fostering.