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Deinstitutionalisation: In Belarus there are approximately 30,000 children confined to orphanages. The majority of these are social orphans who have been taken into care because of parental neglect or abuse.  Extended periods of institutionalisation often result in long-term emotional damage making it next to impossible for these children to assimilate themselves to non-institutional life once they reach adulthood.  This problem is a sad legacy from the past in all countries in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Block.  Voluntas operates a programme to provide an alternative to this grim destiny.  Our deinstitutionalisation programme provides  a range of modalities.  Whenever possible the biological family is rehabilitated so that, under monitored conditions, the child can be returned to live with her or his family.  When this is not feasible the child may be placed within the extended family or with a family in the same town or village, once again, under monitored and supportive conditions.  When these alternative are not achievable the child is placed in a family-type home with a pre-existing family unit and usually several other children who are in the same situation.  In all cases a family environment, rather than an institutional one, is maintained and both the child and family receive ongoing support.  It is our goal that eventually many of these orphanages will be become redundant. 

If you would like further information about this programme or have any suggestions or questions please email us at   deinst@voluntas.orgWe look forward to hearing from you.

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