No country can afford to waste money. Yet, every year, the Czech Republic spends large sums of public money on residential institutions for vulnerable children. Over 80 years of research demonstrates that institutions are harmful to children’s development. They are also far more expensive than community-based systems of care which enable children to live in families, with greater opportunities for happiness, health and stability, and significantly improved outcomes throughout their lives. Institutionalisation is also a violation of children’s rights under both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This report details the findings from Lumos’ research in the Czech Republic, which has shown that far greater numbers of children and families could be supported with high-quality, cost-effective alternatives to institutionalisation, using the resources that are currently tied up in institutions. These findings support those of the growing body of research demonstrating that supporting children and families in the community is more financially sustainable and results in better outcomes for children, families and communities.