Within the framework of the project implemented by the Ukrainian Child Rights Network (the organization currently includes 20 NGOs working in the field of child rights protection) together with the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, UNICEF Ukraine office, on February 12, 2019, the first day of the monitoring visit to the institutions of Kharkiv region was held.
During the day, 2 monitoring groups worked simultaneously, which inspected the Kharkiv Regional Center for Social and Psychological Rehabilitation of Children “Nadiya”, “Regional Orphanage G3” of the Kharkiv Regional Council, municipal non-profit enterprise “City Clinical Hospital G16” of the Kharkiv City Council.
The best impressions during the day were from the work of the staff of Kharkiv Hospital №16 with children who were treated there for social reasons. Registration of children by medical staff is carried out professionally, the conditions of detention of children in the hospital are good and the terms of their stay in this institution do not exceed the established norms.
Representatives of the Kharkiv Regional Center for Social and Psychological Rehabilitation of Children “Nadiya” work quite well in the protection of children’s rights. We cannot say that the representatives of the monitoring group did not have any remarks, but all of them are rather insignificant and it does not take much time and effort to correct them.
However, the emotions and feelings from the inspection of the Regional Orphanage №3 of the Kharkiv Regional Council turned out to be extremely negative. And I would like to dwell on this institution separately.
The facility is designed for 100 beds. During the inspection, it was established that in the orphanage, in addition to orphans and children deprived of parental care, there are children who have actually lost their parents and children undergoing rehabilitation (a total of 107 children at the time of the visit). Of the total number of children, 53 children (according to the orphanage) do not have any contact with biological relatives.
The number of adults working in the institution is equal to 172 people (taking into account the number of children in the institution for rehabilitation with their parents, in fact there are 2 adults per 1 child). It should be noted that 2 speech therapists and a psychologist work exclusively with children who have parents. Others do not have access to these specialists, none of the educators are involved in their development. There are no plans for educational and individual work for 2018-2019 at all, attestations of pedagogical workers are carried out formally (at the time of the inspection there was no plan of educational work, no information on attestation of pedagogical workers, any methodological development, etc.). At the same time, contrary to the law, there are children aged 7-8 in the institution, although according to the Regulations on the orphanage, the age of children should not exceed 4 years and only if it is a child with a disability. Others must be transferred to educational institutions after reaching the age of 3. Among other things, this is a violation of the requirements of the Law of Ukraine “On Education”, because, of course, no one teaches these children.
Interesting was the fact that there are not enough toys in groups, children can play little, but the storerooms are full of volunteer toys that are not given to children (according to the staff, so that they do not scatter them). The monitors were also surprised that clothes and stationery were often locked in groups.
However, chemicals, vinegar and detergents are completely in the area of children’s access.
As for the conditions of detention, everything is very strange here as well. Children do not have bath towels, there is no menu in the orphanage, food samples are not removed or stored. The man engaged in the purchase of products to the institution at the time of the inspection was intoxicated and could not provide explanations about the algorithm for purchasing products. In fact, there are no certificates of product quality in the institution. In the diet of children do not follow the rules of a promising menu for the winter-spring period.
The kitchen is cluttered, refrigerators are dirty, food stickers are missing, cereals and flour are stored on the floor in open bags next to oil and dirty cellophane bags. In addition to products for children in the refrigerators on the food block there are a lot of strange products for the child’s home, namely: It has long been unknown why frozen peppers, lard, remnants of home canning of dubious appearance, pickled in a pan and in some places already blackened cabbage of its own production, in large quantities – frozen lamb (which can not be given to children at all), etc.
In the manipulation room of the orphanage, part of the medication is overdue, however, in the senior nurse’s pantry there are a lot of them and they are in a complete mess. According to the budget for 2018, the institution received drugs totaling 260 thousand UAH.
Despite the fact that in the orphanage – a lot of staff, children, especially children and children with special needs, for months (especially in the cold season) are not taken outside. When asked why the regime is being violated, the monitors received the answer “because it’s hard.”
The real reason for the “difficulty” of staff work and the inability to properly maintain children, the monitoring team understood when, studying the documentation, found that the staff was artificially doubled. The director of the orphanage has introduced a “wonderful” money laundering scheme, when specialists working in the institution are allegedly given hours worked, the money for which they, after actually receiving a salary, give directly to the management of the orphanage.
As a result of such “management”, the institution, despite the indifference of volunteers and business structures, is neglected, dirty, faucets and toilets are leaking, children do not receive proper attention, education and development. The staff does not care about their problems at all, but the management perfectly solves the issue of their own enrichment. But this is another story and other structures should be interested in it.