Public Chamber hotline on removal of children from foster families
The Federation’s Public Chamber has announced the launch of a hotline for issues relating to the removal of children from foster families, with all complaints being dealt with by Regional Public Chambers and specially formed expert groups.
“We’re setting up a hotline to support the public. We’ll call them back and help them sort out their individual problems. “There’s a lot of talk these days of children being removed from families unjustifiably. However, when we examine each case objectively, it’s clear the issues aren’t quite as straightforward as they may seem. We’re bringing this important issue under public scrutiny so that we can gain a clear understanding of where the real gaps are in current procedures governing the removal of children from their families”, said Yulia Zimova, a member of the Public Chamber.
Calls may be made free of charge from any Russian region on 8-800-737-77-66. The hotline will be open 09.00-18.00 Mondays to Thursdays, and 09.00-16.45 on Fridays, Moscow time.
In January, care authorities seized 10 children from a foster family in Zelenograd. The incident received widespread publicity, with some experts criticising the Government agencies’ actions. In light of this event, Anna Kuznetsova, Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner, has called for a thorough review of the general state of foster families as a means of assessing the performance of care and guardianship authorities. This would also include an analysis of law enforcement practices in what can be regarded as excessive interference in family affairs. Elena Alyshansky, President of the “Volunteers helping child orphans” charity, has confirmed that NGOs are currently working on proposed amendments to existing regulations relating to official interventions in family affairs.