Over the last decade, North Macedonia has put increasing attention on issues related to advancing childcare reforms by moving away from the placement of children in large-scale institutional care to alternative care services including foster care, organized supported living and small group homes. Тhe country managed to maintain no children in large scale residential care institutions as of late 2019. Following the Social Protection Law from 2019 and the government’s deinstitutionalization policy, foster Care Support Centers were established for the first time in the country.
The Foster Care Support Centers have responsibility in promoting the family foster care service, evaluate and educate future foster families, and observe and provide support to the existing foster families. There are three foster care support centers in North Macedonia that cover different geographical regions. The first two were established in July 2019: one within the premises of the former institution for children without parental care “11 October” in Skopje, and the other within the premises of the former institution for infants and babies “25 May” in Bitola. A third foster care support center was established on April 2022 within SOS Children’s Villages. The functional team of Foster Care Support Centers is comprised of social workers, pedagogues, psychologists and special educators.