Editorial: there's no place like home

PHOTO: bestfamilytraditions.com

There are over 30 children's homes in Estonia with some thousand kid in them. For various reasons. Often, it's the only alternative as drugs and alcohol have possessed the parents. 

As shown in studies by psychologists, those raised at home do greatly differ – mentally, emotionally and physically. Not even the best of today’s children’s homes can really replace the real ones.

When institutional help is needed, the best alternative Estonia has on offer is foster homes and thankfully hundreds of families are willing to be that.  

After WW2, it has been the trend in developed nations to decentralise child care as also adopted by Eastern and Central European nations Estonia included – where communist regimes saw it supreme to institutionalise caring for and raising the children as corresponding to their collective upbringing ideology.  

At Estonian social ministry, a goal is to see that children end up in care and support families rather than the children’s homes sometimes likened to warehouses.

Naturally, children’s homes do not go anywhere but for children the families are a chance to still be loved and grow up to be healthy, while even for the state the family-based arrangement is cheaper than the institutional.

A problem in the world today is abandoned children basically looked upon from material and humane angles while forgetting the medical aspect in favour of finding families. After longer periods in children’s homes, children have suffered both physically and psychically and there’s no other treatment than a loving family.

This is a fact the state must consider.