The child protection system has been undergoing a continuous transformation since 1989. After the change of regime, orphanages were gradually abolished, and children’s homes and family-type houses were established instead. The study seeks to outline the change in attitude that has developed in the care of children growing up in families without children in Romania over the past 30 years. Three main periods of the decentralization process are distinguished, along which I also presented the last 30 years of the child protection system. The transformation of the Romanian child protection system has also had to deal with a number of obstacles, but its legal regulations are in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as it focuses on new principles such as person-centeredness, child and family participation and community involvement. However, there is still a large gap between theory and implementation. A government decree stipulates that by the end of 2020, all child protection centers should be dismantled and priority should be given to placement with relatives, adoption or a foster care program. It also obliges the institutions of the child protection system to help young people who leave the system to find housing and jobs. Getting out of the system, leaving the child protection system, is also a big challenge for all participants. A young adult who is successfully integrated into society can be one of the most authentic confirmations of a well-functioning system, which can even serve as a guide for further interventions and transformations.

Keywords: child protection system, change, challenge

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