Over 5,000 children live in institutional care in Armenia with 80% of these children having atleast one living parent. According to an Armenian UNICEF communications officer, “children in these institutions are more of ‘social orphans,’ as they ended up [in orphanages] because their families were unable to meet their basic needs—such as nutrition, clothing, education, and proper healthcare.” While orphanages could provide material needs, children lack the emotional care that comes with parental care. This is apparent when children age out of care and are unable to have families of their own. In 2006, the Armenian government with the help of UNICEF adopted a plan to secure the rights of children by advocating for the closure of orphanages or converting them into support institutions. However, the major challenge to de-institutionalization is preventing the reasons that bring children to orphanages in the first place.
Read more about the de-institutionalization process in Armenia here.