RECOMMENDATION 1071 (1988)[1]

on child welfare - Providing institutional care for infants and children


The Assembly,

  1. Considering that, having regard to that part of the European Social Charter concerning children's environment, all children should have the right to care provisions which complement the care they receive in their own families ;

  2. Having noted the development of alarming family trends, namely the rise in the number of illegitimate children, single-parent families and divorces ;

  3. Noting that inadequate provision of institutional child care is partly responsible for the increase in juvenile delinquency, and that the risks of a breakdown in the social relations between parents and children are now very great ;

  4. Considering that the principles of equal opportunities cannot be respected while excessive disparities in the material conditions of child care persist ;

  5. Wishing to see recognition given to the enormous efforts made by those professionally involved in the care of young children to encourage development of their full potential ;

  6. Noting that physical and mental well-being is essential for satisfactory child development ;

  7. Drawing attention to the cost to society of inadequately providing for the care of young children ;

  8. Recognising the right of all children to care provisions which complement those made by their own families, the duration of such additional care to be assessed in relation to the specific needs of the children,

  9. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite the governments of member states :

  1. to set up, in the context of European co-operation, a permanent body to :

  1. assess and monitor progress with the decompartmentalisation of services and government departments dealing with child welfare ;

  2. promote the introduction in every country of a specific policy for child care in and outside the family ;

  3. speed up consultations with a view to preparing a charter of children's rights ;

  1. to make plans to set up administrations (ministries or departments) which could one day propose guidelines for common action on the care of young children, the training of child-care staff and the harmonisation of their status in order to provide conditions that enable families to raise their children properly ;

  2. to draw up a list of requirements to be met, depending on the number of children born each year, the number of children receiving institutional forms of care complementing family care and the number of different modes of care and requirements within the family-supporting measures existing in Europe ;

  3. to increase the sums devoted by each government to research on early childhood, and to all public campaigns about children organised by official associations which have undertaken the task to protect children's rights in society ;

  4. to set up one or more European pilot projects on the care of children under 3, based on management by child-care staff and parents ;

  5. to urge local, regional and national authorities to reconsider budgetary priorities, in order to lay down guidelines for a policy on the care of young children at their respective levels ;

  6. to assess local policies regularly ;

  7. to guarantee all children the right to education regardless of the resources of their families, for example through free education or education allowances ;

  8. to break down barriers between the various local, regional or national services or administrations responsible for particular aspects of child welfare (health, environment, architecture, care provisions, protection of mothers, etc.) ;

  9. to support financially innovative forms of child care which take account of children's specific physical and psychological needs ;

  10. to set up an information programme for parents and child-care staff on children's specific needs and the appropriate care conditions for the development of their full potential, the aim of which would be to publicise innovations made by certain families and the type of resources made available to them by local authorities ;

  11. to hold, at the Council of Europe's initiative, a European conference on children, to be attended by the various specialists involved in child care (parents, teachers, representatives of innovatory bodies and government departments, lawyers, etc.), with a view to defining society's aspirations with regard to child care, children's rights and the financing of children's specific needs.

[1]Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 23 March 1988.
See Doc. 5854, report of the Social and Health Affairs Committee.