According to the relevant legislation, the Director of Social Welfare Services, is responsible for the operation of a number of State Institutions.
State Institutions provide shelter, protection and care to children, the elderly and the disabled as their permanent home or as a place to stay for a few hours during the day.
The option to place children, the elderly or the disabled to live in State Institutions is considered by the Social Welfare Services, should other options are ruled out.
- State Institutions for the protection of children
- State Institutions for the elderly and the disabled
- State Institutions for people with severe mental retardation “NEA ELEOUSA”
State Institutions for the protection of children
Due to the rise in women’s employment rate, a great number of pre-school age children are in need of care during their parents working hours. Day-care is provided by community, private and State day-care nurseries as much as by childminders who are entitled to look after a number of infants and young children at their own premises.
Children, whose families are facing problems and can not provide them the necessary care and protection, are placed by the Social Welfare Services in Foster Families or in State Institutions. Their families are provided professional help and support by the Social Welfare Services in order to overcome their problems and achieve the return of their children at home.
- Day-care nurseries for pre-school age children
- State Institutions for Children
- Nicosia Youth Hostel (boys)
- Youth Hostel for teenage girls
- Special State Institutions for teenagers
Day-care nurseries for pre-school age children
Today 11 State day-care nurseries for pre-school age children operate in Cyprus. They were built after the 1974 Turkish invasion, by funds of the United Nations Refugee Agency, U.N.H.C.R..
Their operation aims to cater for children, whose both parents are employed, during the parents΄ working hours. The stimulation and development of young children’s mental, psychological and emotional abilities is primary goal of the day-care nurseries.
Infants between three months up to two years of age are accepted to the infant section of the day-care nursery and young children between two years up to five years of age, in the children’s section.
Preference is given to children whose families receive public assistance benefit in order to offer the parents the opportunity to be employed. Preference will also be given to children who are under the legal care of the Director of Social Welfare Services. Children, whose families are of middle or high income level, will be accepted as long as there are vacancies.
State Institutions for Children
Currently, four State Institutions for children operate in Cyprus; in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Pafos. Children who are under the legal care of the Director of the Social Welfare Services, between 5 – 14 years of age, are placed in the State Institutions.
The Director of the Social Welfare Services is entitled to authorise the placement of younger children in State Institutions.
Daily services are provided to children whose families are supported by the Social Welfare Services, due to problems they are facing and can not provide the appropriate care, control and protection to their children.
Nicosia Youth Hostel(boys)
The Nicosia Youth Hostel operates since 1957. It accommodates boys between 13 – 21 years of age, who can not stay elsewhere due to various reasons.
Youth Hostel for teenage girls
The Youth Hostel for teenage girls started its operation on 3.3.1998. It is the only pancyprian State Institution that provides care and protection to teenage girls who can not stay elsewhere due to various reasons.
Special State Institution for teenagers
Since November 1997, the Larnaca Youth Hostel has been refurbished upgraded and converted to the Special State Institution for teenagers. It accommodates teenagers who can not live elsewhere.
State Institutions for the Elderly and the Disabled
The rise in the populations΄ life expectancy along with the integration of women in the Labour market, have created the need for the provision of Residential Care for the Elderly and the Disabled.
In order to meet the particular social need, the Social Welfare Services are operating throughout Cyprus seven State Institutions for the Elderly and the Disabled. They were built after the 1971 Turkish invasion, by funds of the United Nations Refugee Agency, U.N.H.C.R.
According to Public Assistance Legislation, the Director of the Social Welfare Services provides shelter, protection and care and secures a dignified standard of living for all citizens. The above mentioned legislation provides for the payment of fees for the residents of State Institutions.
State Institution for people suffering from severe mental retardation “NEA ELEOUSA”
The first Centre for the care of children with severe mental retardation ¨ELEOUSA¨ was established by a voluntary organisation in Nicosia at the beginning of the 1970΄s. It suspended its operation in 1974 due to financial difficulties.
After the 1974 Turkish Invasion, the need for institutional care for people with severe mental retardation was even greater since members of their family who used to look after them had to search for employment.
In 1976, the United Nations Refugee Agency financed the building of an institution to house children with severe mental retardation in Nicosia.
¨NEA ELEOUSA¨ operates since September 1977 on a 24 hour basis and accommodates 32 residents. The residential care aims to:
- The development of their physical and mental abilities.
- The alleviation of families from their everyday care.
- The employment of all members of the family, thus rising the family΄s standard of living.
Since the establishment of ¨NEA ELEOUSA¨ a Consultative Committee was set in order to contribute towards the improvement of the residents΄ standard of living. The Members of the Committee are appointed by the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance every other year.
State Institutions in the Community for People with Severe Mental Retardation
There are currently four State Institutions in the Community that operate in Nicosia District. Each one, houses five adults who come from ¨NEA ELEOUSA¨ State Institution. The four Homes in the Community are located as follows:
1. In Ayios Andreas since 1996.
2. In Latsia since 1998.
3. In Aylantzia since 2000.
4. In Strovolos since 2001.
Living in the Community safeguards the dignity of people with special needs and allow them to socialize with their co-citizens. The positive effects of the establishment of houses in the Community are evident to the residents themselves and their parents.