Washington and Sunderland MP ‘delighted’ with EU support for fight against neglect of children in care

Sharon Hodgson MP
Sharon Hodgson MP
Have your say

A WEARSIDE MP who wants to see the end of the institutionalisation of children is “delighted” a campaign has received support from the European Parliament.

Hope and Homes for Children has successfully secured part of the EU Parliament’s 325 billion euros budget – approximately £292 billion – for the next seven years.

Washington and Sunderland West MP, Sharon Hodgson, said she hopes it will help to achieve the campaign goal of making all child care family-based.

The charity, which is a leading expert on childcare reform, negotiated the deinstitutionalisation of childcare into its budget as a priority in November.

Mrs Hodgson said: “I’m delighted to see that the Hope and Homes campaign has led to action from the European Parliament.

“I really hope this will lead to a real shift towards family-based care for children over the next few years – particularly in the countries where institutional care has historically been terrible.”

The MP, who signed up to the charity’s campaign to end the care of children in institutes and orphanages around the world in Parliament in December 2012, added: “Our care system isn’t perfect by any means, but we do ensure that more than 90 per cent of children entering the care system are supported in foster homes, or are found adoptive families, where they stand a much better chance of doing well than in institutions.

“Every child deserves the best possible chance, so I hope that this kind of practice can now be spread across Europe.”

Hope and Homes for Children estimates that eight million youngsters across the world are suffering life in an institution or orphanage, deprived of love, attention and care.

Research has shown that this neglect has a devastating impact on a child’s life, many have struggles at school, are at higher risk of developing personality disorders later in life, and more likely to become homeless, turn to crime and prostitution or commit suicide.

Neglect, abuse, and malnutrition lead to the death of many.

The charity wants to replace institutions with quality care, such as adoption and fostering, and preventing children going into care in the first place.