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Foster families now raising more parentless children than institutions - statistics

RIGA - In 2017, the number of parentless children growing up in foster families for the first time exceeded the number of children that are being raised in institutions, according to the data released by the State Inspectorate for the Protection of the Children's Rights (VBTAI).

Also, for the first time the share of up to three years old children growing up in care institutions dropped below 10 percent of all children in such institutions.

“These are very positive trends, suggesting that the inspectorate’s work and the overall changes introduced in this sphere are beginning to yield results. Custody courts have become more active in their search for a family environment for kids that have been left without families, they are developing the movement of foster families in their regions, and society and the media are also providing support to children in crisis more and more actively,” said Marianna Dreja, head of the State Inspectorate for the Protection of the Children's Rights.

Last year, 6,669 kids in Latvia were growing up outside their biological families. Of these children, 1,173 or 18 percent (1,193 kids or 17 percent in 2016) were being raised by foster families, custodians were taking care of 4,459 kids or 67 percent (4,548 or 65 percent in 2016), and 1,037 children, or 15 percent (1,216 or 18 percent) were growing up in institutions.

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