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Children's assessment of child protection services

Tirana, September 2011: Children views, experiences, beliefs and attitudes regarding the services they have received from Child Protection Workers have been collected and documented in a report that aimed at measuring the impact of Mario partners efforts in building the capacity of child protection professionals during the third year of implementation of the Project.

Child Protection Units are newly established structures based at the local government social services department and their work is focused on protecting children that are subject or at risk of violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and trafficking. With different academic and professional backgrounds, the CPU workers have been trained in the framework of the Mario Project. But how has the professionals’ attitude changed? Children themselves had the possibility to respond to that question.

The assessment exercise was conducted with children who were direct and indirect beneficiaries of the CPU services in eight different municipalities: Durres, Elbasan, Korca, Pogradec, Gjirokaster, Vlora, Kucova, Saranda. 38 individual interviews were conducted with those children whose cases were followed systematically by the CPU worker and 8 focus groups were conducted with children who have participated in various awareness raising activities organized by the CPU thus, indirect beneficiaries of the services.

From the evaluation results that CPU representatives are generally described as being communicative, caring and helpful, they are also considered as problem-solvers in case of family problems as well as educators who speak to children and their parents about violence, schooling and children’s rights. Children reported that they have felt good when the CPU workers have visited them at home and when children and their parents have paid visits to CPU offices, they reported that the CPU workers has helped both the parents and themselves. From focus group discussions results show that most of the groups were satisfied with the quantity and quality of the awareness raising activities organized by the CPU.

The assessment ends with a set of recommendations related to the need of seeing children as partners and important part of the solution. [SC]