Fier on August 22nd, 2013
Information regarding the meeting organised in Fier in the framework of the project “Empowering Social Welfare Services on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children – RIDE”
The Observatory for Children’s Rights in Fier in collaboration with Social Care Services Office Fier and with support from the representatives of UNICEF in Albania on the 22nd of August 2013 in the conference room of the Prefecture of Fier organised the first meeting with the team responsible for the implementation of the project “Empowering Social Welfare Services on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children”.
In this meeting were participants the representatives of local institutions (Social Care Services Office – District Council Fier, Prefecture of Fier, State Social Service regional office Fier, Regional Health Office Fier, Regional Police Department of the District of Fier), representatives of local NGO-s, employees of the children’s rights unit in the commune and social administrators.
The meeting was organised according to the program by starting with the presentation of the participants and the welcoming speech was given to the Director of Social Care Services – District Council Fier, Mr. Astrit Hysi, who guaranteed his continuous support in the successful realisation of this project.
Afterwards, Mrs. Arlinda Ymeraj, Social Policy Officer at the regional office of UNICEF in Albania gives her speech as a supporter of this positive initiative aiming at improving social policies for children.
Mrs. Elma Tërshana, director of the project, presented the activity of the Observatory for Children’s Rights and the project “Empowering of Social Welfare Services for Children on a regional level, as a response to the implementation of non social exclusion policies for children”.
This project, among other things, aims at identifying cases of child abuse that the current protection system cannot identify. If we talk about children who live in poverty and are part of the economic assistance scheme, we must include in this poverty definition also families whose application to economic assistance has been declined or even those families that because of procedures cannot apply at all. Also the participants received information regarding the territorial expansion of the project in the districts of Shkodër e Kukës.
The participants asked questions and discussed regarding the situation of children’s rights in the District of Fier.
Some of the conclusions of this meeting were:
– The project’s office RIDE will make possible the coordination and harmonisation of all social welfare structures on a regional and local level, in order to make certain that no child gets excluded from exercising their rights. Such thing will be realised by networking challenges/difficulties, current achievements and capacities. This new initiative will help offering integrated services for children (not only benefits from the economic assistance scheme, but from other social welfare fields as well).
– Urge local units to apply for projects in order to benefit unlimited Funds. This way, local units should identify the main needs that demand immediate solving.
– Suggestion for social policies; the creation of a general social welfare budget, (not separating the budget in specific categories: for the Roma, for widows etc), in order to avoid discrimination of the provided services.
– A positive case that was identified during this meeting was the case of Mrs. Suela Spaho, family doctor at the Regional Health Office, who has also been the coordinator of PEACE Corps for the last 4 years, offering services for children in the communes and villages that have a high concentration of the Roma community (Levan, Baltëz, Drizë).
– In the Commune of Qendër Fier there are 7 cases of children aged 2-3 months old who are not registered in the civil status office. Efforts for solving this case have consisted in contacting the Free Legal Service in Tiranë. In the meanwhile families do not have the economic possibility to pay for the trial (to attest the fatherhood). For these cases must intervene the court, civil status, and family doctors. To solve these 7 cases, the project’s office RIDE must begin its work by creating a communication access point between the representative of this commune and the representative of the civil status office in the District Council of Fier. The suggestion of this Commune is empowering the collaboration with the District Council of Fier in order to give children from the Roma community the possibility to benefit from the offered services.
– Cases brought by the chief of the Orphans Association are in relation with the increase of crime in the family. A family, with 4 children, that has no home but owns a land. The mother is in prison. In the meanwhile, because they own a land, the children do not benefit from the economic assistance scheme. Members of the Commune Council must insist to withdraw the land, because children do not use it, in order for them to become part of the economic assistance scheme. Also, the Commune Council must help them better plan their budget adding their monthly amount from the economic assistance. Problems come also from children born out-of-wedlock, who, in most cases do not receive the orphan status.
Observatory for Children’s Roights Expert, Fier