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The Ministry of Social Policy, UNICEF and UCRN have launched a joint project to support children returned from family boarding schools through COVID-19

The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, together with UNICEF and the Ukrainian Child Rights Network are launching a project to support children who have been returned from boarding schools to their families through quarantine measures. The main task of the project is to strengthen the social protection of these families and help them to ensure proper care of children. The plan will be implemented through the training of social workers and the direct provision of humanitarian assistance to children according to their needs.

Over the next six months, project experts will train social workers to monitor the situation of each child returned to the family, identify their needs, respond quickly and provide the necessary support. After a detailed analysis of the situation of families, a roadmap will be created for each family in difficult life circumstances to which children from boarding schools have returned. The project will also provide social workers with personal protective equipment to make their visits to families safe during a pandemic.

The project covers five regions of Ukraine: Dnipropetrovsk, Volyn, Mykolaiv, Poltava and Kharkiv regions. One of the criteria for selecting regions was the number of children returned to their families from institutional settings.

The best practices for reintegration of children into the family, developed during the project in the pilot regions, are planned to be extended to the whole of Ukraine. One of the results of the project will be the preparation of recommendations for 5 regional plans for the implementation of the reform of the transformation of boarding schools (DI – reform). Also, based on the results of the project, changes to the regulations related to deinstitutionalization reform will be proposed.

“For UCRN, this project is a professional challenge. It is important to identify the real reasons for children to go to boarding schools; find opportunities for communities to support resource families and keep children in safe families; to support social work specialists and specialists of children’s services, ”said Daria Kasyanova, Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Child Rights Network.


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