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Child abuse cases need step-by-step assessment

2011-04-12

Tirana, Albania, April 4 – 5, 2011, *: The process for identifying and managing cases of children suffering various forms of abuse requires a careful and methodical step-by step assessment of all the information available, as well as continuous collaboration with the State Social Services. This was the key message stemming from discussions at a 2-day training seminar on *Child Abuse – Assessment Process organized in Tirana by Terre des hommes and Save the Children Albania in the framework of Mario Project. A total of 14 Child Protection Workers and 3 social workers and community mediators from the Drop-in Center for Children in Street Situations in Tirana participated in this seminar. A second training on the subject of Child Abuse – Process of Developing an Action Plan will follow within the next 6 months.
The trainer Stephanie Delaney, an international expert on child protection issues, designed the modules on the basis of an earlier needs assessment for developing the professional capacities of Child Protection Workers in Albania. Meanwhile, the training seminars’ theoretical concepts and work methodologies have been adapted from the Working Protocol for the Child Protection Workers, a joint Terre des hommes and UNICEF publication, approved by the Albanian Ministry of Labor Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.
As a result of this training, I feel better equipped to structure my assessment work with children in need and/or at risk of abuse, according to clear and specific models of evaluation. I trust that the things that I learned here will be quite useful and transferable to my daily work with children at the centre”, noted Denita Çota, social worker from the Drop-In Centre for Children in Street Situations in Tirana.
The training seminar was marked by intensive interaction between participants as a result of the participatory element of group work utilized to encourage discussion, analysis and reflection. The participants were able to examine varying conceptual definitions and theories on issues of child abuse, child protection, child development, as well as explore in depth different models of assessment, the key steps for each assessment process, the various sources of information, risk factors, common indicators of abuse, etc.
Mr. Fatos Koçi, the Child Protection Worker at the recently opened Child Protection Unit in the commune of Dermenas, Fier added: “I look forward to utilizing the knowledge and skills that I gained during this training to assist and support children in my area who now have a dedicated institutional structure to address their needs”. [TL and SC]