Child Protection

a. Child allowance
The allowance is granted every two months from even the first child and depends on the number of children and the total equivalent family income.Enacted by Article 214 of Law 4512/2018 (Government Gazette 5 A’) «Arrangements for the Implementation of the Structural Reforms of the Economic Adjustment Program and other provisions», as amended by the provisions of Article 15 of Law 4659/2020 (Government Gazette 21 A’).More information at opeka.gr 

b. Birth allowance
The allowance is granted for every child born in Greece, to the mothers or the persons who exercise custody of the children born in the country, with income criteria and on the condition of legal and permanent residence. The amount of each birth allowance rises up to 2,000 euros. It is granted in two equal installments of 1,000 euros. The 1st installment is given on the last working day of the month following the child’s birth and the 2nd installment five months after the month of the child’s birth.The Birth Benefit was established by Law 4659/2020 (Official Gazette 21 A)More information at opeka.gr 

c. Allowance for mountainous and disadvantage area residents

This is an annual income support for families – including single parents, who:

  • Reside permanently in mountainous or disadvantaged areas for at least two (2) years before submitting the application
  • Their annual family income does not exceed the amount of 4,700 euros.
    • The amount of income support amounts to:
    • 600 euros per year, as long as the annual family income of the beneficiaries does not exceed the amount of 3000 euros
    • 300 euros per year, as long as the annual family income of the beneficiaries is between 3000.01 and 4.700 euros.

a. Positions in both public and private nurseries, for infants, toddlers and children, integrated care nurseries and Children’s Creative Employment Centers (CECs)

Positions of quality social care and hospitality services are provided in:

  • infants
  • toddlers
  • children

Through the Harmonization of Family and Professional Life action, which is co-financed by European funds.

The objectives of the program are:

  • Increasing and maintaining the employment of beneficiaries with low family income
  • The support of the beneficiaries, in order to ensure their access to work.

The conditions and procedures regarding the implementation of the action are defined by a Central Ministerial Decision, (KYA) which  is issued every year (expedited by the Ministry of Development).

More information at eetaa.gr

b. Parallel access program to nurseries and children daycare centersThe parallel financial support program for families expands the circle of beneficiaries of the Harmonization of Family and Professional Life action to the families of:-State employees, Public Entities and Local Goverment Organization (a and b grade) employees.
-Private sector employees by increasing the income criterion of family income. Enacted by Article 35 of Law 4704/2020 (Official Gazette A΄133)Under the authority of the above provision, D11/ok.32940/1376/14-8-2020, Joint Ministerial Decision «Defining the conditions and the implementation process of the financial support program for families with preschool children» was issued (Government Gazette B΄3538). 

  • Adoption:
    Adoption is a child protection institution applied in our country with the aim of family rehabilitation of the unprotected child. It is the legal act that divides an artificial parental relationship and is carried out by a court decision.The institution of the adoption of minors is regulated both by the provisions of articles 3-11 of the 1st sanctioning article of Law 2447/96 (Government Gazette A’ 278), 23 and 1542-1588 A K, 20-25 of Law 4538/2018 ( Official Gazette A’ 85) and 226/99 (Official Gazette A’ 190), as well as by Law 3765/2009 (Official Gazette A’ 101) with which our country ratified the Convention for the Protection of children and cooperation on intercountry adoption, signed in The Hague on 29-5-1993.Today in Greece if someone wishes to adopt a child they can do so in 3 ways:-By submitting an application through the online portal www.anynet.gr for any of the children accommodated in a Child Protection Unit, Public Entities (NPDD) or Private Entities (NPID),-In direct consultation between natural parents or guardian of the minor and prospective adoptive parents, after they have first been registered in the National Register of Prospective Adoptive Parents,-Through intercountry adoption. In all 3 cases, the adoption is carried out and pronounced by a court decision.
  • Prospective Adoptive Parents requirements:
    He/she who will adopt must meet certain conditions to be deemed suitable to adopt (1543 by the Civil Code (AK)):-In principle, he/she must be capable of legal action and, at the time he/she declares his/her consent, he/she must be aware of his/her actions and not be in a mental or intellectual disorder that would decisively limit the functioning of his/her will.-must have completed his 30th year of age-Not to have exceeded 60 years of age (at the time of submission of the adoption application and not when it is discussed). In case of adoption by both spouses, at least one of the spouses and prospective adoptive parent must not have reached the age of 60 (1545 par. 2 by the Civil Code (AK)).The minimum age difference between adopter and adoptee is 18 years and the maximum is 50 years (1544 AK). People (same-sex or heterosexual) who have signed a cohabitation agreement cannot apply for adoption.
  • Intercountry Adoption
    Intercountry is the act of adoption of a child with permanent residence in a contracting state (state of origin) by spouses or a person who has his permanent residence in another contracting state (receiving state).The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Regard to Intercountry Adoption is applied based only on the place of residence of the child and the prospective adoptive parents, regardless of the nationality of both.The application of the Hague Convention concerns the administrative procedure and does not affect the application of the Greek legislation’ s provitions on adoptions. The application for interstate adoption, as well as the necessary supporting documents, are submitted by the prospective adoptive parents to the Central Authority for Interstate Adoptions or to the locally competent recognized agency (article 1 par. 2 of decree no. 226/99). In the application form, the country of origin of the child to be adopted must be stated, while the gender and any age preference are not stated.

Foster care is a child protection institution designed to deal with pathologies in the family as a transitional solution either to the reintegration of the minor into his natural family, when the pathologies that led to the removal from it are removed, or to provide a safe environment for his upbringing and development of a minor while at the same time maintaining his contact with his natural family, or towards the adoption of the minor by the foster parents. Fostering is the entrustment to third parties, but also the undertaking by them of the actual care of a minor, without changing his legal relations with his natural family or his guardian. The institution of fostering minors is regulated both by the provisions of articles 1655 to 1665 of the Civil Code, and by articles 6 to 19 of Law 4538/2018 (Government Gazette A’ 85). Today in Greece if someone wishes to become a foster parent, they can do so in 3 ways:

  • By submitting an application through the Internet Portal www.anynet.gr for children who are accommodated in a child protection institution, NPDD or NPID, whose commission is exercised by the institution in question, according to article 1600 of the Civil Code
  • By direct consultation between the minor’s natural parents or guardian and potential foster parents, after drawing up a relevant contract between them
  • Directly by court decision, when the interest of the minor requires the immediate removal from his family environment and his placement in a foster family (especially in cases of abused or neglected minors or after the intervention of the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office).

Conditions for prospective foster parents
He/she who will become a foster parent must meet certain conditions to be considered suitable for fostering a minor:

  • To be capable of legal action, according to the proportional application of the provisions on adoption and trusteeship (articles 1543, 1595 Civil Code)
  • To have reached the age of 30 and-Not to have exceeded the age of 60 (at the time of submitting the application underwriting). In case of fostering by both spouses, at least one of the spouses and prospective foster parent must not have reached the age of 60 (1545 par. 2 Civil Code).
  • The minimum age difference between foster and fostering minor is 18 years and the maximum 50 years (1544 Civil Code.)
  • Personal qualities: foster parents and those living with them should be in good mental, intellectual and physical health and free from chronic communicable diseases.
  • The foster parents and those living with them must not have been finally convicted or have no criminal prosecution pending against them for those offenses that entail a deduction from parental care, in accordance with article 1537 of the Civil Code, as well as for the prescribed by the applicable legislation on drugs and human and organ trafficking
  • The foster parents should have proven ability to cover the basic costs of food, education and medical care of the foster child, having sufficient financial resources and giving personal care.

Law 4538/2018 «Measures to promote Foster Care and Adoption Institutions and other provisions» (Government Gazette A’ 85)
ESANY is the National Fostering and Adoption Council, established by decision of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, with the President of the General Secretary for Social Solidarity and Combating Poverty and members:

  • A Juvenile Prosecutor
  • A representative of the Greek Social Workers Association
  • A lawyer with experience in child protection matters
  • Three experts in the field of child protection
  • A Ministry of Labor representative, responsible for child protection issues
  • The President of the National Centre for Social Solidarity
  • Two Social Welfare Centers’ with child protection structures Presidents, with deputies of two of other Social Welfare Centers’ Presidents.
  • A representative of the Local Goverment Oeganization Supervision Division of the Ministry of the Interior
  • A representative of Panhellenic Federation of Associations of Parents and Guardians of Persons with Disabilities
  • And without the right to vote, a representative of the assistant Ombudsman of the Children’s Rights Circle.

Responsibilities of the National Foresting and Adoption Council (ESANY)

  • Submission of proposals and opinions
  • Monitoring and coordination of action
  • Support and provision of advisory and scientific assistance to agencies and services, following a request from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security
  • Processing of 3-monthly and yearly statistics-Studies, surveys, pilot programs, evaluation-Monitoring international context
  • Definition of thematic units of training programs for both prospective adoptive and foster parents.
  • Determination of educational and professional qualifications of trainers
  • Submission of proposals to ministries

Fostering and Adoption information system: www.anynet.gr 

a. These are Units that take care of infants and/or children up to the age of compulsory education for a certain period of the day by providing them with specific services:

  • creative employment and entertainment
  • Education and smooth psycho-emotional development
  • Nutrition and care

Preschool Care and Education Units may establish and operate following relevant licensing:

  • Private law entities of a for-profit and non-profit nature (charitable associations, foundations, Private Entities (N.P.I.D.) associations and individuals),
  • Ministries, Public Entities (NPDD) and general bodies under the public sector (article 12 par. 2 subsection d, article 15 par. 1, 16 and 17 par. 1 of Law 2082/1992 (Government Gazette A΄158) «On the Reorganization of Social Welfare and establishment of new Social Protection institutions»).

The conditions according the establishment and operation  Preschool Care and Education Units license are determined by decision No. D22/ok.11828/293/2017 (Government Gazette Β΄1157), as applicable, pursuant to the authorization of Article 1 of Law 2345 /1995 (Official Gazette A΄213),Their establishment and operation license is issued by the relevant Municipalities (Article 94 of Law 3852/2010 “Kallikratis Program”).

b. Infant, Children Nursery Schools are also operated by Municipalities and their Legal Entities (Article 43 of Law 4369/2016 «National Register of Public Administration Staff… and other provisions» (A΄34)), in accordance with the P.D. . 99/2017 «Definition of conditions for licensing and operation of daycare centers, which operate within legal entities of municipalities or municipal services», which fall under the competence of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Children’s Creative Employment Centers (KDAP) are the social welfare structures where children between the ages of 5 and 12 are employed.Their purpose is the outside school hours children employment and the application of modern pedagogical practices and organized individual and group activities to support the employed children’s  physical, mental, emotional and social development.

They are operated by Municipalities and their Legal Entities, by non-profit Private Law Bodies, as well as by for-profit individuals.For details on the conditions of establishment and operation, see Law 4756/2020 «Measures to support workers and vulnerable social groups, social security arrangements and provisions for the support of the unemployed» (Government Gazette 235 A, Part One, subchapter I).

The purpose of KDAP – MEA is the creative employment of children and teenagers with disabilities through programs of expression and entertainment, speech exercise, strengthening both the skills of the PWDs themselves as well as the education and information of the family environment through appropriate support services.

For details on the conditions of establishment and operation, see Law 4756/2020 «Measures to support workers and vulnerable social groups, social security arrangements and provisions to support the unemployed» (Government Gazette 235 A, Part One, subchapter I).

The Integrated Care Nurseries are units that provide comprehensive care services to disabled infants and preschool children and ensure the following:

  • Healthy and safe stay
  • Employment, education, play, entertainment, rest,
  • Age-appropriate psychological help
  • Care for the smooth psychoemotional and healthy development of children.

State camp program: 32 children’s camps operate for the accommodation of children aged 6 to 16, elderly and disabled people, with low family income, (Law 749/1948 (A΄ 200), as amended and supplemented later).Their operation is assigned every year by a joint decision of the Ministers of Internal Affairs, Finance and Labor and Social Affairs, to the relevant Municipalities or NPDDs that operate under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
Relevant legislation can be found in paragraph 6 of article 19 paragraph of Law 2646/1998 «Development of the National Social Care System and other provisions» (Government Gazette A’ 236) as replaced by paragraph 2 of Article 57 of Law 4520/2018 «Evolution of the Agricultural Insurance Organization into an Organization of Welfare Benefits and Social Solidarity (OPEKA) and other provisions».
Private Children’s Fields: Children’s Fields of Private and Ecclesiastical Initiative, of a profit-making or non-profit nature, operate following a relevant license issued by the relevant Regional Governor. For details on the operation and establishment of private children’s outings, see:

  • Par. 4 of art. 17 of Law 2556/1997 «Measures against tax evasion … and other issues» (Government Gazette 270 A’).
  • D22/ac. 37641/1450/22-8-2016 Joint Ministerial Decision on «Determining the terms and conditions of the operation of camps organized with the same means, with or without payment by natural or legal persons or by public services or organizations or bodies» (Government Gazette 2712/ 2016 vol. B’).
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