For some families it is grinding poverty and the absence of any local care support that forces them to institutionalise their child.
Dessi* in Bulgaria, cared for her four children, one of whom had disabilities, at home. But when her husband died, she had to go out to work and so the one child with disabilities was sent to an institution.
When B*, from Bulgaria, was born with Cerebral Palsy there was no question in her mother’s mind that she should be cared for at home. The family did the best they could afford for B, taking her out for regular walks in her wheelchair even though the terrain was rough, ordering drugs from overseas and organising for her to see specialists. But when B’s father died the family was thrown into turmoil.
B’s mother was left struggling to raise three children on her own. Eventually, she took the difficult decision that she would have to find a suitable institution for B, who was then aged eight.
She told us: “I had to leave B, as I could not provide her with what was necessary…I placed her in the best home…but it is far away.”
*All names have been changed