The fall of Ceauşescu’s communist regime in 1989, left Romania a legacy of hundreds of dark state-ran orphanages housing over 100,000 children in conditions that were appalling. Children were abused and neglected, receiving little or no attention and human touch, causing many to be mentally, emotionally and physically disabled.
The vision for Crown Child Placement started in 1997 with a visit to a Romanian orphanage ranking one of the largest in Eastern Europe. At the time, this institution was the grossly inadequate home of about 420 children, but it used to warehouse close to 1000 in the communist era.
In response to the horrific reality of institutionalized children, Crown was born to provide spiritual, emotional and material support to over 200 children, working with 2 large state orphanages.
Through the years, we actively invested in the education of generations of orphans and for some we had the joy to find families that would love them, resulting in adoption or long-term foster care. Unfortunately, the number of children on the waiting list outnumbers by far the available families to embrace them.
As an EU member, Romania is challenged to implement a reformation of the child protection system. Large well-known orphanages in cities are closed with the intention of transitioning children into adoptions, foster care and small-scale group homes.
Despite the government’s efforts to complete this revamp by shutting down the state-run orphanages, the problems which promote the abandonment of children continue to persist – widespread poverty and economic migration, limited education leading to lack of responsibility. Older children leaving the system are faced with the cruel reality of tending for themselves having little or no life skills, and become easy targets for human traffickers.