Introducing the national database on children in the social protection system
PODGORICA, BIJELO POLJE, PRZNO, 13 -15 December, 2011 – Montenegro is working hard to bring it’s child protection system in line with international standards and to ensure mutually reinforcing health, education, police and social protection services work together to ensure every child is protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Any modern child protection system requires a nationwide database that will provide vital information on the situation and background of all children who come into contact with the child protection system. Protecting the rights of the child are a central component of Montenegro’s ongoing reforms in the context of European integration and in January 2012 an electronic database on children in contact with the social protection system will be operational at the local and national levels.
Centres for social work in Montenegro will be able to enter and monitor vital data on beneficiaries, at the individual and aggregated level, in a more comprehensive and precise manner than previously.
“The database will provide exact and reliable data on the characteristics and needs of children who are in contact with the child and social protection system at the local and national level - meaning children from poor families, children without parental care, children with disabilities, children victims of violence, children in conflict with the law, etc. This data can later be used to identify and address gaps in service provision, and in turn facilitate children’s access to services, including prevention services” said UNICEF Programme Specialist Ana Zec.
In order to introduce the electronic database to professional workers at centers for social work, three regional consultative seminars were held in Podgorica, Bijelo Polje and Przno.
The Director of Centre for Social Work in Bijelo Polje Zlata Lukac says that the new database will speed up the procedures in the realization of children’s rights.
“Whenever we need certain information about a child served by our Centre, it will be easily and quickly accessed. The database gathers data about the social, economic, family, education and health status of children, as well as information about the measures provided by centers for social work and relevant institutions in order to improve the child’s situation. Based on aggregated information about all children in contact with our Centre, statistical reports will be made that will enable the employees of centres for social work to plan the necessary services in the local community as effectively as possible,” said Ms. Lukac.
Data will be collected at the local level through direct work with families, and then automatically uploaded to the central base at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. In this manner, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare will obtain a wide spectrum of indicators, necessary for detailed analyses in the area of child protection, which will facilitate the creation of social policies. The situation of each child or target group of children will be accessible simply with a click on the mouse.
“Adequate policies and budgets cannot be created without data. We need to have complete insight so we can plan what kind of support children need in order to, for instance, keep their families together and make sure the children can stay at home” said UNICEF Consultant Ljubomir Pejakovic.
The development of Child Protection Database is a part of the Social Welfare and Child Care System Reform: Enhancing Social Inclusion Project, implemented by Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Sport, with the support of UNICEF and UNDP and financial assistance by the European Union in the amount of 3 million euro.