According to the Ministry of Education and Science, in accordance with the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to prevent the growth of the number of orphanages and placement of children in them as an extreme and temporary measure, a number of actions were made in Kazakhstan to prevent social orphanhood and deinstitutionalization of orphanages.
In accordance with the instruction of the Head of State, the priority areas in protecting the rights of orphans are the formation of legal mechanisms to expand the practice of family type orphanages.
As a result, in the 2009-2017 period, the number of orphanage children was reduced by 60% — from 15 116 people to 6223. At the same time, the network of orphanages was reduced from 213 to 137, that is, by 35%. 49 of them are the family-type ones.
Since the beginning of 2017, 22 foster families have been established, all four forms of family organization — adoption, patronage, custody, foster family — have been legislatively fixed and financially stimulated by the state.
A turning point in the development of family forms of the arrangement of children left without parental care was in 2017. The Republican Bank of Orphans and Children Left Without Parental Care was launched. Citizens wishing to accept children in their families were given the opportunity to adopt the child themselves without any bureaucratic delays. Only since the beginning of 2017, 394 children have found their families through the bank and 394 children have been adopted, 2437 have been placed under guardianship, and 219 — for foster care. The MES RK is confident that this absolutely effective mechanism will allow all children who cannot live with their parents to arrange for families in the future and for the time that is necessary for the child, both temporarily and for a long period, until adulthood.
Another positive moment is that last year a new type of organization was introduced — a center for supporting children in difficult life situations. Its main difference from the orphanage is that the child in any situation can receive a complex of comprehensive social services. And the focus in the center is on saving the child in a biological family, rehabilitating the family and only when children cannot be returned to their parents, the work is done on the selection of the family for the child.
Today, there is an opportunity to create such centers on the basis of large boarding-type orphanages, orphanages that are located in remote settlements from the regional center, thereby giving the child the right to retain blood ties, kinship ties, and, on reaching adulthood, successfully solve the problems of further life and work devices, provision of housing in the place of residence.
Non-governmental organizations and public associations play an important role in the process of transforming orphanages, development, and family forms of arranging children left without parental care. Since 2016, in the framework of joint memorandums with public funds Family Academy, Zhanuya, Ana Uyi, Family Support Centers in the cities of Almaty and Astana, two of which are based on orphanages have been established.
The objectives of the pilot project are to improve the quality of services in the field of protecting children's rights, develop programs to provide professional psychological, social and legal assistance to families and children in difficult life situations, which at an early stage prevent family problems.
In the framework of pilot projects, psychological, legal and social support services are provided to families and children in difficult life situations, training of social educators and psychologists of residential institutions with new forms and methods of work. Schools of foster parents have been established to train people who want to take care of children who have been left without parental care.
The third project in the cities of Almaty, Astana, Karaganda and Pavlodar regions successfully implemented the project "Mentoring" with the participation of 130 children to provide practical assistance in socialization and adaptation to work for graduates of orphanages with the involvement of mentors from among volunteers . Since the launch of the project, 842 applications have been received. In the Kostanay region, one of the projects of the Asyl Bala non-governmental organization is the opening of the Club of post-boarding school support and development for graduates of orphanages and boarding schools.
According to the amendments to the current housing legislation introduced in 2013, orphans and children left without parental care acquired the right to receive housing from the state housing fund on a par with the participants of the Great Patriotic War. In 2014-2017 alone, this helped 4459 children from this category to become owners of their own housing.