Czech NGOs call for an immediate action to change the care system for children at risk

Czech NGOs criticised the obsolete child care system caused by the lack of coordination between the ministries and delays with the systemic reforms. This has been discussed during the roundtable “Transformation of care system for children at risk from children’s and experts’ perspective” that took place on the 15 May 2017 in Prague, the Czech Republic. The event was  organized by a Eurochild member Vteřina poté (Second After) and Association Dítě a Rodina (Child and Family Association) bringing together key national and international stakeholders, civil society organisations and representatives from the three ministries responsible for institutional care for children in the Czech Republic.
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Why it is crucial to end orphanage-style care systems in Europe


Strengthening families and tackling child poverty goes hand-in-hand with ending institutional care for children, writes Jana Hainsworth for Euractiv.

As you return to your families to celebrate Christmas, take a few minutes to consider this. Hundreds of thousands of children across Europe are growing up, away from their families, in institutional care.
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Bureaucracy should never get in the way of realising children’s rights


At the beginning of November 2016, the new amendments in the Regulation for Implementation of Social Assistance Act were enacted. According to them, the name and the profile of the existing Family Type Placement Centers for children and youth with disabilities were changed. Following these amendments that differentiate the existing family-type placement centres for children and young people with disabilities to such being only for children and separately for adolescents, the Agency for Social Assistance has issued a letter to all Child Protection Departments in Bulgaria asking to prepare children and young people with disabilities for move due to the change of the service profiles by April 2017.  If acted upon, this normative change will require moving children from alternative care placements  in a way that runs counter to their best interests.

The Opening Doors campaign works to build the capacity of civil society organisations and ensure their involvement in legislative, policy and public spending decisions.  Civil society are closest to the children and young people involved and have a better understanding of how policies impact children directly.  They can also ensure that children and young people themselves are involved in decisions taken about their lives.
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Bosnia & Herzegovina to improve standards for alternative care services


Opening Doors coordinator Hope and Homes for Children in Bosnia & Herzegovina (HHC BiH) partners with government to create Standards for Small Family Homes and a Programme of Support to Young People Leaving Care. These documents are expected to be integrated in the new Law on Social Services of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

HHC BiH’s work with the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has led to the acceptance of two new by-laws focussing on improving services for children without parental care. These proposals are expected to becoming law in the coming months and, for the first time, will create legal standards for the services provided to children without parental care and give support to young people leaving public care.

HHC BiH coordinated the work of two expert groups that drafted the Minimal standards for Small Family Homes and the Programme of Support to Young People Leaving Care. The expert groups were composed of representatives of the Federal Ministry, relevant cantonal ministries of social protection, centres for social work, institutions for children without parental care, NGOs, and HHC BiH.

The drafted standards were piloted in selected institutional care facilities, centres for social work, and foster families. Following to that, 5 regional consultations and 1 national consultation meeting with child protection professionals provided vital feedback and suggestions for improving the documents. Finally, in May 2015, a set of five regional training sessions for practical implementation of standards were held and saw the attendance of about 100 professionals from across the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The programme was supported by a grant from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

It is expected the standards will be made official in the form of amendments attached to the new FBiH Law on Social Services, currently in development, with HHC BiH actively engaged in the drafting process. By ensure existing services are better monitored and by developing new support towards young people leaving care, the new law will dramatically improve the conditions of institutionalised children and deliver the preconditions that are essential for deinstitutionalisation to take place.