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Every child’s right to a family discussed by international and national experts in Chisinau

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Representatives of central and local authorities of the country, specialists in social work, education, health-care, international experts, representatives of the academic environment, and professionals from NGOs, participated on 17th-19th May at the International Conference “Ensuring the right to a family for every child: Challenges and Solutions”. The event was organized in the context of 10 years’ anniversary of the child care reform in the Republic of Moldova.

The goal of the Conference was to present the most important achievements obtained in the process of child deinstitutionalization in the Republic of Moldova, and highlighted the relation between deinstitutionalization, development of family and community-based service, inclusive education, and early intervention. The event provides opportunities for the national and international positive practices dissemination in child-family separation prevention and promotion of alternative family-type care of children separated from their parents.

In the inauguration message, the Minister of Labour, Social Protection and Family, Stela Grigoras, underlined the importance of the Reform’s results for the Republic of Moldova, namely, for the improvement of the children’s life quality and well-being. The minister mentioned the need of collaboration between the public authorities and the civil society, for the well-being of all children, thanking for the support provided to our country by the development partners: UN, UNICEF, EU Delegation, USAID, Partnerships for Every Child, Lumos.

Dafina Gercheva, UN Coordinating Representative/UNDP Permanent Representative, greeted the interest of Moldova’s professionals for the area of child protection, mentioning the importance of joining efforts in order to provide all children with a safe and secure environment, and a happy childhood in a family.

UNCEF representative in the Republic of Moldova, Nuné Mangasaryan, mentioned the need of family and community strengthening and capacity-building of the public authorities, to be able to face challenges and meet the development needs of all children.

Present at the Conference inauguration, Ambassador of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, H.E. Philip Batson, and Ambassador of the United States of America, H.E. James D. Pettit, appreciated the efforts of the Republic of Moldova to provide children from residential institution a possibility to grow and develop in families and to ensure their school and social inclusion.

In parallel with the plenary sessions, the international experts moderated workshops for different groups of specialists, covering various issues, such as: child participation in decision-making; foster care service; school inclusion of children with special educational needs; working with children who have complex emotional needs; integration of services for children, etc.

In addition, during the tree days of the Conference, an exhibition of pictures drawn by children “Child’s Right to a Family” was held.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family of the Republic of Moldova, Partnerships for Every Child (Moldova), and Lumos Foundation (Great Britain), with the financial support of USAID.

According to the statistics, at the end of 2015 there were 35 residential institutions in the Republic of Moldova, offering placement to about 2000 children. Since the launch of the residential care reform, 30 institutions were closed or reorganized, and the number of children in residential care reduced with about 9 thousand. The Government, supported by development partners and NGOs working in the area, developed an alternative child care and social services system, including foster care, family-type homes, community homes for children at risk, guardianship/kinship care, family support, etc. All these progresses improved the life quality of displaced children, who regained the joy of life in a family environment, included in schools and communities. The reform results will determine the priorities of the Republic of Moldova for the child protection system, with the main focus on the strengthening of social services for children at risk, inclusive education development in preschool institutions, and creation of national early intervention services for children.

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