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1 Child Rights Departments role in ensuring development of gate-keeping and referral system SECOND CHILD PROTECTION FORUM: Building and Reforming Child.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Child Rights Departments role in ensuring development of gate-keeping and referral system SECOND CHILD PROTECTION FORUM: Building and Reforming Child."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Child Rights Departments role in ensuring development of gate-keeping and referral system SECOND CHILD PROTECTION FORUM: Building and Reforming Child Care Systems in Central Asia Mrs. Zuhra Madaminjanova, Head of Board in the Strategic Research Centre of the President and member of the Commission on Child Rights under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan Bishkek 2009

2 2 History of the Department Beginning in 2004 the Government of Tajikistan in cooperation with UNICEF established five local pilot Child Rights Departments which have since expanded to nine districts; The CRD took over the functions of the former local Commissions on Minors and in some locations perform the functions of the Guardianship Authorities; The CRDs initially focused on promoting the process of deinstitutionalization of children (social orphans) who were being returned to their families and the community from eight residential institutions; The CRDs also worked as gatekeepers for preventing and regulating future placement of children into institutions; On August 1, 2008 the Government Decree #377 mandated the creation of a CRD in each of the 66 districts throughout the country in the course of three years;

3 3 Progress of the establishment Preliminary, the overall goal of establishing Child Rights Department in 2004 was to promote the process of de-institutionalization of children in Tajikistan and to contribute to the creation of alternative care programmes in a family environment; The development of the new child protection has called for a need for systemic reform of the child protection system both at local and national levels; It has also showed that it is possible to change entrenched attitudes towards child protection and child care at local level; At project level, the major achievements of the CRDs are: an understanding that the child needs to grow up in a family environment wherever possible and that institutionalisation should be a remedy of last resort the introduction of current notions of good social work practice, including investigation, assessment and care planning (trained institutional staff) training social workers to work with and maintain the family unit de-institutionalisation of significant numbers of children effective gate-keeping preventing children who are not in need of child protection services from entering the institutions

4 4 Organizational Structure CHILD RIGHTS DEPARTMENTS COM/Guardianship Authority PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION NO FURTHER ACTION Referral to community services (NGO or statutory organs) FULL ASSESSMENT Referral to community services (NGO or statutory organs) REMOVE CHILDREN FROM PARENTS EXTENDED FAMILY ALTERNATIVE FAMILY PLACEMENT IN INSTITUTION

5 5 Specific Functions of CRD Needs Assessment: Family and child assessments occur for children living in families who are at risk, identification of children with mental and physical disabilities to refer them for disability benefits; children who are at risk of out-of- home placement in residential institutions or in families; Response to Vulnerability: The staff of the CRDs provides information, referral and other assistance to vulnerable children and their families. This assistance includes counselling, identifying and helping secure benefits to which children and families are entitled, and referring the children and families to various governmental and non-governmental programs; Gate-keeping: The CRDs review the applications for placement of children in residential care institutions or find alternative solutions which include providing or arranging for assistance so that children can live safely within their families, or arranging for alternative community placements such as guardianship; Monitor the status of children: The CRDs monitor the status of children who have been reintegrated into families from boarding schools and also monitor the status of children who have been placed into guardianship;

6 6 Operational Model (Functions) Staffing: Staffing level varies based on the population number in districts but the proposed CRD office will have a chair and two other staff. It is the started option that staff from existing Social Assistance at Home Units of Social Protection departments proceed social work related home visits to compile information for decision making process; Funding: Each local CRD operates under, and is funded by, the local Authorities. The salaries of the core staff of the CRDs are paid by the local government and so far UNICEF provides supplements to cover operational expenses and provides other types of assistance such as computers and office supplies; Impact: According to an evaluation of the deinstitutionalization process in Tajikistan, the CRDs have had a significant impact on the numbers of children being referred to institutions and on the number of the requests for placements being made. The CRDs streamlined a cumbersome, inefficient and ineffective system of placing children in institutions. In most cases children seem to have received appropriate and detailed assessments by the CRDs and social workers.

7 7 Remaining Constraints Prior to the establishment of Child Rights Departments in the pilot districts, the existence of staff specifically trained to work in child welfare and protection with the skills of modern social work did not exist in the country; Building the capacity of staff that is able to develop community-based services to meet childrens needs takes longer than anticipated, especially in view of the demands placed on the staff; Staff of the Child Rights Departments/UNITS need further exposure to innovative, creative, low cost yet effective child protection services that could be adapted to meet the needs of children in the country; Fragmentation of the system complicates the movement of the Guardianship organs from the Education sector to the CRD which has placement under the local governance; Lack of coordination to link the CRD decisions on referral based on the social work activities of the Social Assistance at Home Units which has unqualified staff to provide certain services for targeted groups; The failures of economy and shortage of skills in public expenditure policy development consequence low governments salary scale which adds burdens to unskilled staff affecting the welfare of children in need of care and protection measures

8 8 Social Assistance at Home Units of the SOBES Initial assessment Social Assistance at Home Units of the SOBES Initial assessment Gate keeping CRD Request for provision of Services г Specialized Social worker of the Units Comprehensive assessment Social workers for conclusions Child Individual Plan Realization and follow up of the individual plan Information on the risk Commission on Child Rights at district Failure in the realization of child individual plan Передача случая Successful work Рек. на устройство Collective Recommendations and decisions for the services - Instructions to statutory organs/departments - Mobilization of local NGOs - Monitoring of family situation - Review of case management Referral to Guardianship or institutional care Court sentence Proposal for process of deprivation and adoption Deprivation of parental rights Adoption Child Protection Model Scheme

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