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Implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Reform of the Residential Childcare System in Moldova 2007-2012

Peter Evans | Terre des hommes | 112 pages
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In July 2007 the Government of Moldova approved a National Strategy and Action Plan to reform its residential childcare system. At the time, 12,000 children were thought to be living in large orphanages and boarding schools in Moldova. Previous studies had shown that most children living in residential institutions had at least one living parent if not both living parents. Some children had disabilities ranging from mild to severe. Studies had shown that most children had been placed in residential institutions in response to family poverty.
This evaluation of the National Strategy and Action Plan was commissioned by UNICEF and its government partners to evaluate the results and achievements of the implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan. The evaluation was carried out between March and June 2012 by an international child protection expert aided by a Moldovan company with experience of researching social policy.
The evaluation aimed to assess:
• Relevance of the National Strategy and Action Plan to child protection in Moldova
• Effectiveness of implementation to meet the goals and objectives of the National Strategy
• Sustainability of the Action Plan reforms
• Efficiency with which the Action Plan Activities were managed
• Impact of the reforms on vulnerable children and families, and
• Extent to which implementation of Activities contributed to the equitable promotion of children’s rights.
A summary of recommendations is listed below.
1. Continue deinstitutionalisation activity, with a particular focus on children with disabilities and young children living in institutions, in addition to children in the ME institutions.
2. Plan and implement the redirection of budget savings from deinstitutionalisation to fund community-based services for vulnerable children and families.
3. Investigate why few children are living in foster families compared to the much larger number of children living in institutions.
4. Examine social work information management systems in other countries to consider solutions appropriate in Moldova.
5. Adopt an interim, low-technology process to monitor admissions and discharges from institutions.
6. Government should take over running costs of the DI Unit in the ME.
7. Responsibility to coordinate action on childcare reforms should be passed to the National Council for Child Rights Protection in the State Chancellery. The Deputy Chair of National Council for Child Rights Protection should periodically report to the Deputy Prime Minister on reform progress.
8. Implement action to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the Ajutor Social (Social Aid) scheme.
9. Institute a system of annual Community Social Protection Planning by LPAs to implement central government social protection policy priorities.
10. Arrangements to transfer management responsibility for residential institutions to LPAs should be agreed by LPAs, central government and NGOs on an individual basis.
11. Improve the effectiveness of community social assistants to manage deinstitutionalisation and prevention plans for individual children by consolidating their training into a nationally regulated system.