The Council of Europe and Family Policy

Protecting the rights of children in institutions

The family is the natural environment for the growth and well-being of the child. Sometimes, however, children have to be placed into alternative care. Although family-like care environments such as foster families or children’s villages are increasingly widespread, a large proportion of Europe’s children without parental care are still living in residential institutions.
Alongside promoting deinstitutionalisation, the Council of Europe has set up a range of basic principles and quality standards to make sure children placed in institutions can grow up in dignity and enjoy their fundamental human rights.

Specific rights for children living in residential institutions