UNICEF regrets loss of babies in Luhansk, urges to improve system of child protection
Kyiv, 9 August 2012 - UNICEF deeply regrets the loss of the two girls in Luhansk oblast, who were murdered, for which their adoptive mother is suspected. Unfortunately, such shocking tragedies do happen in many countries in families with their own, fostered or adopted children. Nonetheless, the family is usually the best place for a child to be; family type care should be preferred as a care option versus institutionalisation of children. Living in safe and loving families enables children to develop to their maximum capacity.
“The tragedy in Luhansk oblast underscores the need for greater support to families and closer monitoring for children’s placements in alternative family settings,” - stated Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.
The process of placing a child in an alternative family setting requires careful assessment of both the child and the potential parents and support and preparation to both for their unification. Potential adoptive (foster) parents need to understand as much as possible the specific needs of the child and how to better respond to these needs. Likewise, a child needs support in integrating into a new family setting.
“While families’ privacy and right to care for the their child should be respected -- irrelevant of whether the child is biological, adopted or fostered -- monitoring and support for families to deal with specific challenges faced in adoption and fostering is critical”, - explained Gabrielle Akimova, UNICEF Ukraine Child Protection Specialist.
According to UNICEF, monitoring after placement is vital to provide support needed by families to ensure safe placement. Countries have different approaches for monitoring after adoption, including counselling, submission of post-adoption reports and collection of statistics.
UNICEF calls for a progressive reform of social services for families and children to be implemented by the Government that enhances social work capacity at the community level, providing the potential for better outreach to families. Community members are important players in identifying and providing information for outreach to families and children in need. Greater support to families and children at earlier stages of problems could provide solutions that prevent such tragedies.
About UNICEF: UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is the world leader in protecting the rights and interests of children. The Fund operates in over 190 countries to protect and support children from an early age through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF office in Ukraine was opened in 1997. More info at: www.unicef.org.ua Join us on Facebook: facebook.com/UNICEF.Ukraine and twitter: @unicef_ua