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Children belong in families,
not orphanages

Lumos in Greece

An estimated 3,000 children and young people live in 85 institutions in Greece. Since 2015, Lumos has supported the Greek government and other partners to develop plans to reform the country's system of care for vulnerable children.

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In 2014, media reports featured disturbing cases of children in caged beds in Greek children’s homes. Children removed from their families are usually placed in residential institutions. 

These are generally larger than the EU average, and children stay there for prolonged periods. As a result, few children are reunited with their families. There is also a lack of foster care as an alternative to institutionalisation.

Despite the country’s financial difficulties, there are opportunities available to Greece. As an EU state, it can use Structural and Investment Funds to develop community-based services. This will help keep families together.

Lumos in Greece

Lumos does not have a country team directly working in Greece but began working in partnership with local agencies to provide guidance, training and technical support in 2015. Working in partnership with the Greek Institute of Child Health (ICH), our aim is to support the move away from institutions and towards community based services. We are also working to build a coalition of NGOs to support professionals and policy makers in the reform process. 

To date, we have conducted a strategic review of child residential care in Greece. This has included staff interviews in different types of institutions – some state and some privately funded.

What Next?

Our aim is to achieve a 50% reduction of the number of children in institutions by 2020.

Working with partners, we will achieve this through national reforms and regional demonstration programmes. We will reduce admissions, while closing institutions and replacing them with higher quality, inclusive community-based services.