Seven Levels of Engagement


To ensure no children in Europe are living in institutions by 2030 requires fundamental change across a number of systems and structures. We work at many levels, to change attitudes, develop different ways of working with children, improve access to services and ensure every decision taken for children is made in their best interest, We engage strategically to ensure change is fully supported and embedded in each country and at an international level. This way, there will be no going back.

International Decision Makers and Funders
Through international advocacy we work to divert money away from programmes that prop up institutions and continue to segregate children, towards inclusive services that prevent the separation of children from their families, friends and communities.

National Governments and Civil Society
We support countries to develop national plans of action to ensure the change in legislation, financing and attitudes necessary to achieve positive change for children in institutions and support Governments through the implementation of change to ensure high quality results for children and families. We encourage and support the sharing of good practice in moving from institutions to community based care and work with other NGOs to share resources and avoid duplication of efforts. We have developed a model approach to moving from institutions to community based care that is applicable across Europe and beyond.

Local Government and Statutory Services
We assist in restructuring the care systems for children at local level. We strengthen the delivery of community based health, education and social services, making them more accessible to marginalised children, thus preventing them from being placed in institutions. We work with local authorities to transfer resources from large institutions to community based services for children and families.

Local communities and civil society
We support local NGOs to develop the skills and resources to deliver high quality services for children and families and to advocate for children’s rights. We raise awareness among local communities, empowering them to welcome children returning from institutions and to support vulnerable families.

Moving children from institutions to family based care by necessity takes some time, but we know many children in institutions need our help immediately. That is why we work to improve the health, development and protection of children in institutions from the moment we begin working with them. We involve the institution’s personnel in every stage of the process, turning potential factors of resistance into agents of positive change for children.

We support families to resolve the difficulties they face that have resulted in their children being placed in institutions. This includes helping to find employment and housing, developing parenting skills and establishing local family support services for children with disabilities.

We work locally to make sure every child from an institution gets the placement they need, whether this is with their family, in foster care, local adoption or in a small group home. We assess each child’s individual needs and develop a personalised plan. We help them to prepare for the move and continue to support children and their families throughout the whole process. Through training and support we empower children, parents and people with disabilities to act as self-advocates.

"This way, there will be no going back."

We Suggest
  • Safeguarding Children by Monitoring and Improving Standards of Social Care
    Safeguarding Children by Monitoring and Improving Standards of Social Care thumbnail
  • Giving children in institutions a voice
    Giving children in institutions a voice thumbnail
Associated stories
  • Supporting Vulnerable Families
    Supporting Vulnerable Families thumbnail
  • Drivers of Institutionalisation
    Drivers of Institutionalisation thumbnail
  • Seven Levels of Engagement
    Seven Levels of Engagement thumbnail
  • Ion's Story
    Ion's Story thumbnail
  • Better Health, Better Lives
    Better Health, Better Lives thumbnail
  • All Children Count, But Not All Children Are Counted: Your Voice Helps
    All Children Count, But Not All Children Are Counted: Your Voice Helps thumbnail