Child Protection in Greece

Child protection is Greece is at a critical crossroads. Over 75% of child protection institutions operate without any quality protection standards. We need a national institutional legal framework which ensures that adequate quality standards are upheld – including the number of qualified staff and an operational framework based on high quality protection standards.

The latest Ministry data (2020) refer to 82 childcare institutions and 1,702 children in institutional care.
The lack of knowledge, expertise and mentality, on a central and institutional level, regarding quality and operational standards for childcare, the developmental needs of children, the collaboration with institutions for securing the best interest of each child, the importance of family placements and foster care has dramatic consequences for the lives and development of thousands of vulnerable children. The recent Report from the Greek Ombudsman (2020) underlines the dramatic situation in Greece as well as the need for important changes and reforms in the field of childcare1.

Developments in Europe and internationally have been substantial, both institutionally, with the promotion and implementation of De-Institutionalization, as well as in relation to research, which unequivocally proves the damage which institutionalization causes in children.

Greece is in dire need of a National Strategy and structural reforms in the field of childcare, in line with the protection and developmental needs of children, international and scientific developments, as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.