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Child Welfare Reform in Albania Marieta Zaçe Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Albania Sofia 3-6 July 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Child Welfare Reform in Albania Marieta Zaçe Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Albania Sofia 3-6 July 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child Welfare Reform in Albania Marieta Zaçe Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Albania Sofia 3-6 July 2007

2 Country Profile Population (in million) Population (in million) Children under 15 years old 820,000 Children under 15 years old 820,000 GDP per capita (current USD) GDP per capita (current USD) Unemployment rate (%) 14,1 Unemployment rate (%) 14,1 Poverty rate (%) 18,5 Poverty rate (%) 18,5 Children at risk: Children at risk: –Children living in complete poverty –Children without parental care –Disabled children –Children emigrating to other countries without their parents –Street children. In addition, there are children victims of violence and children in conflict with the law.

3 Main Findings and Outcomes Measures –Target groups of children –Key reform initiatives and documents –Reforms of planning and decision-making –Reorganisation of statutory services – service purchasing and gate-keeping at local level –Decentralisation –Deinstitutionalisation –Community-based services –Personnel issues –Gate-keeping at national level –Material assistance for children and families

4 Groups of Children Social welfare policies the Albanian Ministry of Labor develops focus on the children in need or at risk, including: Orphans or single-parent children Orphans or single-parent children Disabled children Disabled children Street children (beggars, street workers, abandoned children) Street children (beggars, street workers, abandoned children) Violated children Violated children Children leading a secluded life (blood feuds), Children leading a secluded life (blood feuds), Unaccompanied child emigrants Unaccompanied child emigrants Trafficked children Trafficked children Other types of children or youth with problems: drug addicts, unemployed, involved in criminal offences; Other types of children or youth with problems: drug addicts, unemployed, involved in criminal offences; Roma and Egyptian children Roma and Egyptian children School drop-outs. School drop-outs.

5 Key Reform Initiatives Strategies and action plans on child protection, with World Bank support Strategies and action plans on child protection, with World Bank support Current review of the Action Plan based on the child protection system analysis Current review of the Action Plan based on the child protection system analysis

6 Reforms of planning and decision-making Primarily focused on the development and strengthening of planning and decision-making at regional level. Primarily focused on the development and strengthening of planning and decision-making at regional level. The regional level governance and the communication channels with the local authorities are yet to be improved. The regional level governance and the communication channels with the local authorities are yet to be improved. The Strategy for Social Services (2005) provides for the relevant role to be played by local authorities for reviewing and assessing relevant policies. The Strategy for Social Services (2005) provides for the relevant role to be played by local authorities for reviewing and assessing relevant policies.

7 Reorganisation of statutory services Reform efforts for service purchasing are focused on the development of the new service purchasing Reform efforts for service purchasing are focused on the development of the new service purchasing Community Care Plans Community Care Plans Pilot projects - Child Protection Units (supported by UNICEF) and Child Labour Monitoring Committees (supported by ILO- IPEC). Pilot projects - Child Protection Units (supported by UNICEF) and Child Labour Monitoring Committees (supported by ILO- IPEC).

8 Decentralisation Decentralisation of social services, under the new Law on Social Services. Decentralisation of social services, under the new Law on Social Services. Increased responsibilities for municipalities/communes and the newly- introduced regional level governance (Regional Social Care Sections). Increased responsibilities for municipalities/communes and the newly- introduced regional level governance (Regional Social Care Sections). Financial constraints Financial constraints First step: transfer of residential care centers to local governments

9 Deinstitutionalization Deinstitutionalization goals: Deinstitutionalization goals: – improve the quality of care in existing institutions, and –promote and develop community-based alternatives. Deinstitutionalization to continue based on budget and donor fund availabilityDeinstitutionalization to continue based on budget and donor fund availability

10 Community-based Services Second step: Development of community-based services, associated with the transfer of the responsibility for services to the local government. Development of community-based services, associated with the transfer of the responsibility for services to the local government. Introduction of non-governmental service providers Introduction of non-governmental service providers Lack of services targeting both children and parents Lack of services targeting both children and parents Foster care services are yet to be developed Foster care services are yet to be developed Initiation of a Social Fund to promote the development of community-based services. Initiation of a Social Fund to promote the development of community-based services.

11 Quality of Services New standards of social services Development and implementation of a number of standards Licensing of service providers InspectionCapacity-building New information system

12 Staff-related Issues Staff-related Issues Training and education Training and education Training provided for a variety of professionals from various sectors Training provided for a variety of professionals from various sectors

13 Gate-keeping at National Level Different gate-keeping mechanisms (development of standards, licensing and inspection) Different gate-keeping mechanisms (development of standards, licensing and inspection) Implementation yet to take place Implementation yet to take place

14 Material assistance for children and families Amendments to the social cash benefit program, aiming at adjusting the programme to the economic and social situation of the country. Amendments to the social cash benefit program, aiming at adjusting the programme to the economic and social situation of the country. Improved targeting of the cash benefits Improved targeting of the cash benefits The cash benefit program is still predominant to the provision of social services. The cash benefit program is still predominant to the provision of social services.

15 Response: place the child at the centre of the policy agenda Promote a country pro-child approach: Promote a country pro-child approach: –income support –access to services (health, social and family services, child care, housing, education, kindergarten) –youth integration –child socialisation Emphasize reduction of (regional) disparities in child wellbeing Emphasize reduction of (regional) disparities in child wellbeing Data collection, policy-oriented analysis, monitoring of public policies Data collection, policy-oriented analysis, monitoring of public policies

16 Complimentary Efforts for Social Programs Revision of the Strategy for Social and Child ProtectionRevision of the Strategy for Social and Child Protection The goal is to reduce the poverty count to 10% by 2013 from the current 18%The goal is to reduce the poverty count to 10% by 2013 from the current 18% Roll-out of community-based social servicesRoll-out of community-based social services Harmonization of social cash benefit assistance with other cash benefit programsHarmonization of social cash benefit assistance with other cash benefit programs Inclusion of all categories in needInclusion of all categories in need


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