Sunday, June 26, 2011


June 24 2011

"Since 2006 the project for unloading the institutions that protect and care of children has been developed and implemented in order to unload the institutions and to prevent the children's access to those institutions; since 2008 until now the "Foster family "program is being implemented. Since 2008 35 children received care in foster families." This is an excerpt from a letter that was signed by Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Arthur Grigoryan. The letter contains a number of questions and answers that refer to the activities of orphanages and other fostering institutions. The questions were posed by the member of the
"Heritage" Faction Anahit Bakhshyan.

It is pretty easy to say why particularly this part was selected from the letter of the Minister. We had noticed some discrepancies in the numbers presented.

Thus, it was just one month ago, on May 16, that presented an interview with Ms. Lala Ghazaryan, the Head of family, women and children issues department within the Armenian Ministry of Labor and Social Issues. Ms. Ghazaryan presented in details the role of the foster family and mentioned that, "Today, for example, we have 23 such families, where 25 children live.

Note that before this program entered under the full control of the state in 2008, it was being implemented by the United Nations Children's Fund / UNICEF /, since the mentioned period not a single child was given to a foster family. In the same time it should be noted that the state has adopted the policy of unloading the orphanages and ther foster institutions, however this particular version, which is considered one of the effective ways of the above mentioned policy,
does not work.

Continuing to quote the Minister's answers addressed to A. Bakhshyan, let's focus our attention to the fact that, as A. Grigoryan says, "according to the statistics, as a result of the implementation of the project the number of children in orphanages has decreased in recent years due to state policy."

Mrs. Bakhshyan, citing in the letter addressed to the Minister the results of the research presented by the UNICEF recently, mentioned:

"The transportation and placement of children in foster family can be savings for the budget. For example, by the data of 2009, in 8 orphanages of the republic the annual expenses of one child in average makes U.S. $ 5 176; for 905 children 4 .684.017$ from the budget were
provided. While presenting that research was also pointed at the fact that only 25 children were placed in the foster families. And this in case when using the new funding guidelines more children may be directed to the foster families."

In response to this Minister Grigoryan wrote: "The foster family is one of the ways of replacement of children who are left without parental care; however the experience shows that problems arise between foster and biological parents of the children that are given to the foster parent families from the orphanages, and that is not within the child's interests."

In other words, except for this quote, Minister A. Grigoryan doesn't refer to the question of the deputy whether the displacement and placement of the children into foster families may serve savings for the budget.

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