family support and social protection

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  • *Children, Families and Social Protection in CEE/CISElena Gaia, Regional Office CEE/CISExpert Consultation on Family and Parenting SupportFlorence, 27 May 2014

  • This presentationChildren & Families in CEE/CIS: some trends

    Social Protection: is it supporting children and families?

    Promising practices

    Going forward


  • Fewer women under 20 give birth compared to 10 years ago, with the exception of Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Fertility rates among 15-19 year old women in these countries, as well as in Romania and Bulgaria are over 30 per 1,000 live births.

  • More than 170,000 children were left without parental care in 2011 in 19 countries, half of them in the Russian Federation* and almost half girls. More than 60% of children left without parental care in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan were boys. Disaggregated data are not available in all countries.

  • Children are left without parental care due to different reasons. While in Hungary it is predominantly due to temporary inability of parents to care for the child, in the Russian Federation and Belarus it is deprivation of parental rights. Abandonment of children is more common in Montenegro and Kazakhstan.

  • More than half of young people in Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were unemployed in 2011.

  • Evidence suggests that in some countries disability is one of the main reasons for a child to be left without parental care. Close to 90% of children in Serbia and 60% of children in the Czech Republic who were left without parental care had a disability.

  • Not many countries have records on the type of care solutions for children left without parental care. Among countries, where data are available, placement in residential care is more common in Armenia and Tajikistan. About 15% of children in Georgia and Kazakhstan left without parental care were adopted in 2011.

  • More than 1.4 million children in 26 countries were in formal care in 2011. Half of these children are in the Russian Federation. The ratio of children in residential care to those in family-type care is still high in some countries. A positive change in this ratio over the last decade is particularly noticeable in Bulgaria. The overall rate of children in formal care decreased in Latvia, Belarus, Romania, Estonia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 2002 and 2011.

  • Out of the total number of children having left public residential care , the proportion who were re-integrated to their families or placed in family type care varied from 16% in Kyrgyzstan to 79% in Slovenia. On average 27% left residential care alone.

  • Social Protection in CEE/CISUNICEF Integrated SP Framework includes family support services as one of its four componentsCash transfers not sufficient to address the vulnerabilities a child or family facesSocial services, broad term, varying definitionsFocus on those services which aim principally to reduce social and economic vulnerability of families and children to poverty and deprivationFamily and child support services, including social work, and home-based care

  • Keeping Families Together: role of SP over-reliant on institutional responses fail to provide individualized supportNot designed to stimulate and help families overcome difficultyWhen asked why their children were placed into care, many parents said it was because they could not find or access other forms of supportWeak outreach, leading to low take-up Excessive administrative barriersNo institution responsible for supporitng families and children as a wholeLimited guidance to local governments on how to plan, finance and implement servicesSocial workforce small, not trained, low paidFunding and perceptions still favour institutional care

  • Social Protection in CEE/CIS: effectivenessGaps data availability, and lack of assessments of the impact of social protection on children; lack of programmatic evaluations and impact studiesLow value of cash transfers and low coverage of children and families in need, leading to limited poverty reduction Social support and care services underdeveloped and underfundedFragmentation and lack of coordinationAs currently structured and administered, SP not effectively relieving deprivations and vulnerabilities of children, and often unable to reach those most in need

  • Chart1








    Kyrgyz Rep1.026.18









    Family and Child Allowances

    Social Assistance Programs

    Other social protection

    Spending on social protection as a % of GDP


    Family and Child AllowancesSocial Assistance ProgramsOther social protection











    Kyrgyz Rep1.026.18






    Russian Fed0.082.626.6




  • Young child wellbeing & home visiting child protection, ECD and health

    Second decade, second chance services for youth

    Cross-sectoral approaches and interventions

  • Promising practices: Integrated Social ServicesSingle point of entryComprehensive family assessmentJoint case planning and managementCo-location of services (or referrals)Sense of partnership, focus on meeting needsBased on territorial social plans to determine provision of servicesProvision of counseling, rehabilitation, financial assistance, in-kind assistance, temporary shelter, social care at home and in residential care, legal aid


  • Serbia: Family Support ServicesModel family outreach service in four cities, reaching 400 families with over 1,000 children in the coming 2 ysContributes to preventing removal of children from families and helps facilitate returns, through addressing challenges of poverty, disability, mental health, substance abuse or neglectTechnical support to development and standardization of new community services enabling family-based care: in 41 municipalities, tailor-made support and coaching to model the application of national standardsTo increase parental skills and awareness about the early years, model parenting support centres in Belgrade and Nis: peer and professional counseling and programmes to build parenting skills for new parents (model assessed in 2013)*

  • Equitable reforms: the number of children with disabilities should decline at least at the same rate as the total number of children in residential care. In Serbia, the proportion of children with disabilities in residential care decreased from 66% to 48%.

  • Albania: House of Colours

    Centre for specialized support to children and families in difficult life circumstances, Tirana Municipality (since 2011)Target group: 500 children from 7 Roma and Egyptian communities in Tirana, living on the streets and engaged in petty street jobs Outreach team works directly with the communities and in the streets to identify cases of child abuse (2,500 families)Provides emergency 24hrs services for most severe cases of children in street situation, including temporary accommodationChildren and their families are supported with psycho-social, legal, health services; also, meals and educational activitiesFor mothers: vocational training, job opportunities, assistance during legal and administrative procedures, and referral to other social services*

  • Bulgaria: Community-based outreach services for young children and familiesThree Family Centres established in Shumen region, inter-sectoral service, providing outreach integrative social, health and educational services and measures for prevention and support of small children and families at risk in most marginalized communitiesThe design is tailored to address the real needs of children from excluded families and to utilize all potential entry points for making difference inside segregated Roma communitiesFlexible and adaptable services, based on the assessment of risks and needs during the mapping of vulnerable communities


  • Romania: Multifunction Centers for Early Childhood DevelopmentModel: 17 centers developed, with start-up costs estimated at 5,000For each class of 20 children there are 5 Roma children fully integrated with all costs supported by local communityMulti-disciplinary teams in placeParents participating as volunteersCommunities aware and fully involved in the CentersGuide to establish Multifunctional Centers developed and distributedModel to be expanded possibly through ESF


  • Romania: Community Based Integrated ServicesSocial protection, education, health for all children 0 to 18 and their familiesContribute to prevention of violence, neglect and exploitation, keeping families together and in their communities, increase access to health care and educationModel independently evaluated as successful and cost efficientTo be scaled up in the North-East region (the poorest region in Romania) through ESF*

  • Family: what value added for the SP and child rights agenda in the region?New insights in


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