Czech bishops raise questions about government’s preference for foster care
January 09, 2017
The Czech bishops’ justice and peace commission recently raised concerns about a government proposal that would limit the placement of abused and neglected children in institutions.
Under the proposal, children between the ages of three and seven could be placed in such facilities only in exceptional circumstances, and for no more than a year.
Bishop Václav Maly, the commission’s chairman, said that the government’s strong preference for foster care over institutional care is “completely unrealistic.”
The number of abused and neglected children rose from 4,447 in 2009 to 9,433 in 2015, yet there are only 215 applicants in the nation for long-term foster care, the prelate said in a statement. Of the 215, only 11 are willing to accept a Roma child, and only 13 are willing to accept a disabled child.
The nation of 10.7 million is 10% Catholic. On the eve of Pope Benedict’s apostolic journey to the Czech Republic, the Holy See Press Office stated that the Church operates 59 orphanages and nurseries in the Central European nation.