Posted 28 декабря 2022, 17:04

Published 28 декабря 2022, 17:04

Modified 30 декабря 2022, 00:01

Updated 30 декабря 2022, 00:01

"Compaction" of children: optimization and commercialization have reached orphanages

28 декабря 2022, 17:04

"Compaction" of children: optimization has reached orphanages

In 2021, there were 494 thousand orphans in Russia. With the beginning of the special operation in 2022, the number of orphans began to grow. It would seem that the state should increase the number of orphanages, but in Moscow exactly the opposite is happening. The Family Education Assistance Center "Lesnoye" for children with disabilities was closed.

...It was probably the best orphanage in Moscow. Although it was located in the Pushkin district of the Moscow region, it always belonged to Moscow structures. Even before the war, in 1939, it was built for orphans.

Survived the war, but did not survive the optimization

In 2014, the orphanage was converted into a Family Education Assistance Center, having been converted for children with special needs, mainly with Down syndrome.

In October 2021, these children were suddenly taken to an unknown destination, and staff were handed redundancy notices. Later it turned out that the children were moved to the Center for the Promotion of Family Education "Juno", in Ochakovo, compacting the inhabitants there.

 6.5 hectares of land in the Pushkin district is a serious tidbit, and it seems to have attracted the attention of the oligarchs.

"It was an insidious plan to re-qualify the Lesnoy Orphanage into a Family Education Assistance Center. Having renamed, the orphanage was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Social Protection of Moscow.  The fact that it was inhabited by disabled children was also part of a clever plan: such children will not be able to protest and be indignant at the eviction", - social pedagogue Angelika Pavlova told Novye Izvestia.The territory of the orphanage is really picturesque.

This is a coniferous forest, an apple orchard planted by the hands of children, several lakes, a water tower, sports grounds… This place can't help but attract attention. And it was here that children - both sick and healthy - felt loved, needed, not abandoned.

"We had children with severe damage to the nervous system who, before they came to us, did not talk at all", - says Yelena Kazachenko, who has worked as a music teacher at the Lesnoye orphanage for more than 30 years. - Children began to distinguish musical compositions, children with Down syndrome performed at competitions, received prizes. Children even with severe intellectual impairment lived a normal full life in such conditions. We had author's, alternative methods of teaching. Now everyone has been moved to completely different conditions. It is difficult to guess what will happen to sick children next. But I think we should forget about remission, that is, partial recovery. The fate of many of them after the Family Education Assistance Center is likely to be sad: they will end up in boarding schools, neuropsychiatric dispensaries, where they will spend the rest of their lives under injections".

The orphanage in the village of Lesnoy has existed for more than 80 years, having produced a huge number of worthy graduates whose lives have developed despite their orphanhood. He survived the Great Patriotic War, Perestroika, the dashing 90s, but became a victim of optimization and commercialization in our time.

 

What happened to the disbanded Center and its inhabitants?

Detective with commercial overtones

"We were given a notice of dismissal for redundancy.

They offered vacancies in similar institutions from the Department of Labor and Social Protection of Moscow in the capital. But all of us, teachers, chose a place of residence closer to work, that is, to the "Forest", and no one wanted to move from the suburbs to the capital. As a result, many were left without work. But these are teachers with unique experience who could bring dozens, hundreds of children with disabilities back to a full life!", - Yelena Kazachenko, the teacher of Lesnoy, told NI.The story of the "optimization" of the GBU "Lesnoy" together with the children generally pulls on a detective story.

As follows from the "Bulletin of State Registration", the Center for the Promotion of Family Education of the Department of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Moscow "Scarlet Sails", which in Moscow, on Dekabristov Street, was united by the decision of the Department of Labor and Social Protection of Moscow with the institutions located on the territory of the Moscow region, but belonging to the same department: the wellness center "The Territory of opportunities" in Stupino, Moscow region and the Family Education Assistance Center "Lesnoy" in Pushkino, Moscow region.

We called the Family Education Assistance Center "Scarlet Sails", with which we "united" the orphanage in "Lesnoy". The deputy director of this GBU, Yana Konstantinovna Storozhuk, replied that they were not moving anywhere, they were not going to accept children either, for today they only have information about the association. That's the end of it, there will be no more comments. However, there is reason to believe that Yana Konstantinovna was lying: the essence of the association was this.

"Representatives of the Scarlet Sails came to us, took all the furniture and left. That is, we have transferred all material values to the Scarlet Sails. We hoped that the "Scarlet Sails" would also accept children, this would be our second territory, but this did not happen. Meanwhile, the territory of the Family Education Assistance Center "Lesnoy" has already got a new owner. We are told that the light and gas can be turned off in the premises in the near future. We were forbidden to throw out garbage. The boiler room was taken away by some new organization. It is not clear who owns the territory that has belonged to children for more than 80 years. At the same time, information appeared that the Department of Labor and Social Protection of Moscow transferred our land along with buildings to the Housing and Communal Services Department", - says social pedagogue Angela Pavlova.But the worst thing is what happened to the children.

Children with disabilities who used to walk and play sports in the vast territory of the "Forest" were mercilessly "compacted" by the forces of Moscow officials and transferred to controversial conditions in the conditions of a megalopolis in the industrial zone.

"This is too shameful a story, so the Moscow authorities will naturally come up with beautiful words to disguise what happened. There was just a desire to use this picturesque place in the Pushkin district for commercial purposes, and the children were pushed out. Unification, renaming, transfer to another department – this whole scheme has been worked out by the Moscow government. This is a screen to disguise unsightly deeds. At the meeting of the Moscow City Duma, at which the mayor reported to the deputies, I was sitting in a T-shirt, on which was written a demand to return their home to the children in Lesnoy. But the mayor did not respond to the request to protect orphans. At the same time, the number of orphans as a result of losses during the special operation is increasing, and instead of creating favorable conditions for them, orphanages are merged, combined, optimized", - said Moscow City Duma deputy Yelena Shuvalova.

Business for children with the knowledge of the state

In 2021, 493,777 children were considered orphans in Russia.

This is almost one and a half times less than in 2014. In 2021, out of all the children who had experience of orphanhood, most of them were brought up in families — 454,031 people (the sum of the children under guardianship and adopted). Another 35,291 children lived in specialized institutions, but their number has more than halved since 2014. The number of orphans in boarding schools may be underestimated by 40%. In fact, the actual number of orphans and children left without parental care is higher than in official statistics. Why is this figure decreasing?

The maintenance of every orphan child, especially with disabilities, is a state expense. It is no coincidence that every day calls are heard from the TV screen to take children into families in order to ease the burden of the state on their maintenance.

But is the foster family so absolutely good?

"Until 2014, there were 126 orphanages in Moscow, now there are 14-18 Centers for promoting family Education. Moreover, all of them are transferred to the Department of social Protection, orphans are transferred to the family form. For many, it becomes a business, they recruit 7-8 people, foster parents and guardians are allocated living space, a car, there are special payments. From a material point of view, it is beneficial. There is one case in my memory: a military woman came to our orphanage, took 8 children. And then these children were seen in different orphanages. So a high-quality orphanage is often no worse, and maybe even better than a foster family", - Igor Saidov, a pupil of the Moscow orphanage in the village of "Lesnoy" in the Pushkin district, told NI.

 

For some families, adoption and guardianship has really turned into a kind of business. It is known that a one-time monetary payment to foster parents is provided at the national level. It amounts to 17,479.73 rubles for each patronized child. The family cannot accommodate more than 8 foster children. The remuneration also increases if the family lives in a region with special climatic conditions.

Foster family and adoption are different concepts. During adoption, parents receive a full range of rights and obligations, on a par with blood. The list of how and how much they pay for the adoption of a child in 2022 is similar with the birth of a baby, starting with a one-time allowance for the birth of the first child and maternity capital.

Guardians receive solid state support. If we calculate on average how much guardians were paid for a child in Russia in 2022, the approximate figures will be considerable. For example, in Moscow they are paid 18,150 rubles a month for each foster pupil, for a disabled child - 30,855 rubles. Thus, guardianship of a disabled child significantly improves the financial situation of the guardian. And then the question arises: are all parents so disinterested in adoption and guardianship?

"In any case, children with disabilities, with Down syndrome, need special conditions, daily supervision of a doctor, a special method of education, and not every family can raise such a child or become his guardian. Simply "compacting" other institutions with such children is also evidence of a formal approach. You can't do that", - says Igor Saidov, a graduate of the orphanage.T hese concepts themselves - "consolidation", "optimization", "merger" in relation to orphanages look at least blasphemous.

It is clear that the state now has many other tasks. But it is unacceptable for children to be pushed to the last place when performing them.