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Prevention of Child Abandonment Sofia, 3 May 2007 Rodica Paslaru National Authority for the Protection of Childs Rights ROMANIA.

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Presentation on theme: "Prevention of Child Abandonment Sofia, 3 May 2007 Rodica Paslaru National Authority for the Protection of Childs Rights ROMANIA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prevention of Child Abandonment Sofia, 3 May 2007 Rodica Paslaru National Authority for the Protection of Childs Rights ROMANIA

2 What abandonment means? Romania - the country with over 100,000 orphans/abandoned children (90s) - The term included children separated from their parents, placed in different institutions, such as: childrens homes, special boarding schools, hospital sections, institutions for disabled children, but also children placed in substitute families (extended family, other families or persons) -Very few of these children were orphans -Many of them had families and visited them, being placed from economical reasons or in order to give them a chance to continue their studies

3 What abandonment means? Law on judicial declaration of the abandonment of children (Law no.47/1993): -The child found in the care of an institution of state social or medical protection, of a private institution of legal protection legally constituted or entrusted to a natural person under the terms of the law, may be declared as abandoned by a judicial decision, as a result of the fact that the parents took, obviously, no interest in him, for a period longer than 6 months; -By disinterest is understood the imputable cessation of any relation between the parents and the child, relations that should prove the existence of normal parent relations. The lack of interest shown towards the child may be attested by any means of proof

4 What abandonment means? Law on judicial declaration of the abandonment of children (Law no.47/1993) Contributed to the corruption in the system of international adoptions of Romanian children moratorium instituted in 2001 over international adoption moratorium instituted in 2001 over international adoption quasi – banning of the international adoptions in Romania: Law on the juridical regime of adoption, adopted in 2004 and entered into force at the 1 st of January 2005 (Law no.273/2004) AGROGATES

5 What abandonment means? Law on the protection and promotion of childs rights - Childs Law (Law no.272/2004), adopted in 2004 and entered into force at the 1 st of January replaces the word abandonment with children left by their mother/parents or children separated from their parents. - the word abandoned can still be found in the text of the law

6 What abandonment means? UNICEF Report The situation of child abandonment in Romania - January 2005: -9,000 babies abandoned in maternities and hospital units each year (2003 and 2004) National Authority for the Protection of Childs Rights (NAPCR): -5,130 children left in hospital units in 2003, out of which, 2,512 were re-integrated in their biological families; - 4,614 children left in hospital units in 2004, out of which, 2,389 were re-integrated in their biological families

7 What abandonment means? The UNICEF report: -important from the perspective of the observance of the childs right to get an identity as well as of the childs right to know his/her parents and to be raised and educated by them - brought to the attention of the authorities the need to intensify their efforts to address this phenomenon

8 Prevention measures and interventions Prevention measures and interventions Recommendations of the working group set up by the High Level Group constituted the basis of an action plan for prevention of child abandonment adopted by the Government in March 2007 and include: - focusing the prevention programs towards the regions and categories of population with increased risks of abandonment; -setting up a coherent reporting and monitoring system as regards the abandonment and the risk of abandonment; -hiring social workers in all sanitary units depending on the number of doctors existing in the unit; -hiring community medical assistants and physicians in all the communities presenting increased risks of abandonment; -standardizing the written forms and the procedures of registering women which get admitted in maternities in order to give birth; -elaborating procedures for keeping records of mothers and children without identity papers and creating a database on this matter

9 Prevention measures and interventions Childs Law already contained detailed provisions concerning the establishment of childrens identity and the identification of the parents of the abandoned children: -implementation of the law was needed - Action Plan for the implementation of the law adopted in September 2005, setting responsibilities for several central public authorities, as well to local public authorities with a view to ensure the observance of childrens rights through practical measures.

10 Prevention measures and interventions Medical and social assistance staff are obliged to report cases in which pregnant women and children have no identity papers (art. 13 (1)) Medical institutions with a maternity or pediatric unit are obliged to employ a social worker (or a person with this responsibility) Police units are obliged to appoint a policeman to take care of registering the birth Action to be taken in cases of child abandonment (1) Issue a medical record of birth within 24 hours (doctor). (2) Report birth to the GDSACP and police within 24 hours of the mothers dissapearance (medical institution). (3) Within 5 days of (2), issue a report stating child abandonment, signed by GDSACP, the police and the representative of the medical institution to allow for the childs immediate placement by the GDSACP director. (4) Within 30 days of (3), the police must conduct specific investigation to locate the mother. Mother is not found GDSACP gives the childs details to PSAS. Within 5 days, PSAS names child (Law 119/1996) and issues a birth registration declaration GDSACP provides care for the child Intervention in the case of child adandonment Prevention of abandonment Mother is found GDSACP offers counselling and support

11 Prevention measures and interventions Administrative measures undertaken by NAPCR during 2005 and 2006 : -monitoring the implementation of the legal provisions regarding the obligation of hiring social workers or at least persons with social assistance responsibilities in all the maternities and paediatric units; -nominating social workers from the GDSACP for this matter, where necessary; -monitoring the phenomenon by creating a monthly mechanism of reporting the nominal data concerning these children from GDSACPs and the Public Health Departments; -establishing a periodic dialogue between NAPCR and the Ministry of Health in order to find solutions for reducing the extent of the phenomenon (including Joint Order, establishing a coordination methodology between the interventions of the involved institutions as regards the preventions of childs abandonment in hospital units).

12 Prevention measures and interventions Measures undertaken by other central institutions during 2005 and 2006 : -future modification the Law on the civil status in the sense of instituting the temporary identity (NAPCR and the National Institute for Evidence of Population within the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Reform of Administration); Woman and Child Health Program, including: the editing, printing and free distribution of the Pregnant Womans Book and training of the medical staff for using it, as well as sustaining the initiative Baby Friendly Hospital and the Regional Centers for promoting the breastfeeding (Ministry of Public Health)

13 Preventive mission of the local authorities The activities aiming at the prevention of the childrens separation from their parents (in cases where there is a risk situation which, by non-intervention, could lead to the establishment of a special protection measure), are carried on, according to the new legislation, by the Social Assistance Public Services set up at the level of the local communities (municipalities, towns, communes). In order to prevent separation, the local councils have the task of organizing day care services: -day care centres; -counselling and support centres for parents; -monitoring, assistance and support centres for pregnant women facing the risk of abandonment.

14 Supporting the preventive mission of the local authorities National interest programs (2005, 2006, 2007) for the setting up of community based social services for children and families to prevent the separation of the children from their families and to support the reintegration or integration of the children in family. Results of the 2005 and 2006 NIPs: -32 day care centres; -10 counselling centres; -16 pre-natal abandonment prevention services; -293 social workers or persons with social assistance responsibilities were trained and/or hired. The total number of day services (day care centres, counselling centres etc.) currently functioning at the local level is of 236.

15 Supporting the preventive mission of the local authorities through training Training programs addressing the professionals working in the community that interact with children and parents: 2005: dissemination of the provisions of the Child Law day workshops for the social workers from the county and local level, attended by approx. 2600; days seminars plus 96 1-day follow-up sessions for teachers, medical staff, policemen, magistrates (judges and prosecutors) and priests, attended by 1,750 professionals

16 Supporting the preventive mission of the local authorities through training Training programs addressing the professionals working in the community that interact with children and parents: 2007: training the professionals on their roles and responsibilities in the protection and promotion of childs rights days training courses for local social workers/persons with social assistance attributions, attended by approx. 1,000 persons; days training courses for teachers, medical staff, policemen, magistrates (judges and prosecutors) and priests; approx. 4,000 participants

17 Supporting the preventive mission of the local authorities through training Training programs addressing the professionals working in the community that interact with children and parents: 2007: training the professionals on their roles and responsibilities in the protection and promotion of childs rights -specific manuals for each of the six professional groups; -teaching manuals, including all the power point presentations, case studies, role-plays and other useful materials; -posters and brochures

18 Supporting the preventive mission of the local authorities through training

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21 Training programs addressing the professionals working in the community that interact with children and parents: seeking to ensure the sustainability - training courses organized at the county level; - local trainers prepared; - large-scale dissemination of the training materials; - approaching the universities

22 Supporting the preventive mission of the local authorities through training Future programs: - unique training materials at the national level; - lots of specialists involved in their elaboration; - materials should be clear, concise, and specific to each professional category.

23 Prevention of child abandonment Thank you!


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