Mr Palm's speech during the launching ceremony of the Course on “Child Protection Issues” supported by Terre des Hommes in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth and Departments of Social Work and Social Policies on 17 December 2013
Child protection is very close to the heart of UNICEF, as it is to many of the civil society organizations and international NGOs here in Albania
The in-service programme will be most useful to turn the appointed staff into real child protection professionals.
To protect children from abuse, neglect or exploitation is not easy. Social workers have to deal with difficult families, abusive individuals, and ignorance. She has to establish a web of relationships with teachers, nurses, police, judges, other social workers, mayors and counsellors. It is a difficult and a hard job, and I wish everyone the strength to do what needs to be done.
I hope that the professionalization of the social worker for child protection is also recognized and supported by the municipalities and communes.
Children must not become the victims of political disagreement. Children must not be kept hostage for the demonstration of power or vested interests. We don’t do our job if we don’t act in the best interest of children.
Lastly, I like to remind everyone that child protection workers, and child protection units, can only work if there is a backbone of a strong social care service system. We have been working with the Ministry for a while to get this done, and I know this is being supported by so many partners also here.
But today is a time to celebrate, and my thanks again to Terres des Hommess and the university to get the new training curriculum done.