Children with disabilities living in special needs homes in a village in north-eastern Hungary should be moved to foster homes unless conditions in the homes and their affiliated school are immediately improved, the ombudsman’s office said on Thursday. A report released by the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights says an inspection of the special needs homes and school in Tornanádaska revealed that the children there live in isolation and “run-down conditions”. The inspection also found that conditions at the homes “do not even meet the minimum standard required for caring for children in protective services”. The report also raised concerns about how the children are being fed. Further, the operator of the local authority foundation-run homes has yet to begin the renovation works it had been ordered to carry out by social services, the report said.
László Székely, the ombudsman for fundamental rights, has asked the head of the Directorate-General for Social Affairs and Child Protection to explore closing down the homes and placing the children with foster parents or in different special needs homes, unless conditions in the Tornanádaska homes can be improved immediately. Székely has also asked the director of the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Social Affairs and Child Protection Centre to initiate a review of the children’s current placement, taking extra care that siblings are placed in the same home.