Azerbaijan, Baku, 19 November / Trend corr. J.Babayeva / A five-year general layout has been developed to transform state children's homes in Azerbaijan.
"The layout was developed within the framework of the State Program on alternative care and children's return to families from children's homes (deinstitutionalization), which the President adopted in 2006. Under the preliminary draft, transformation plan will be realized at 23 children's homes within five years," Minister of Education Misir Mardanov said to journalists on 19 November.
Twelve children's homes will be transformed into comprehensive schools, lyceums or gymnasiums within the first year of realization of the layout and 20 children's homes - within three years, Mardanov said.
"To develop a layout, a work group at the Ministry held opinion poll at 55 children's homes with participation of employees of the Ministries of Labor and Social Protection, Health, as well as international experts of UNICEF," the Minister said.
Head of UNICEF in Azerbaijan Mohamed Bendriss Alami said that he is prepared to support to realize the layout, which will be submitted to UNICEF in 2009. "Transformation of children's homes is a problem for all societies. All relevant state bodies, inmates of children's homes and Non Government Organizations should be involved in realization of the layout," he said.
A total of 14,389 children are brought up at state children's homes in Azerbaijan, 4,055 children of them live at children's homes, including 2,900 boys and 1,155 girls. Some 2,434 children have both parents, 1,142 - only one, 399 - abandoned and deprived of parents' care and 80 - orphans.
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