The Child Guarantee: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage
Phase III of the Preparatory action for a Child Guarantee
Phase III of Child Guarantee: The Fundamentals
One out of every five children in the EU is currently living a childhood in which opportunities to be healthy, to learn, to participate and to reach their full potential are being cut short. Poverty and deprivation in childhood can mark children for the rest of their lives; undermine a child’s health, education and prospects for future income, as well as the child’s ability to thrive in adulthood. Poverty and social exclusion can lead to intergenerational cycles of disadvantage for vulnerable children. In Europe countries are struggling to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children, particularly: children with disabilities, children in precarious family situations, children residing in institutions and migrant and refugee children. Now, an already serious problem is being further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ‘Child Guarantee’, an initiative of the European Commission which aims to ensure that the most vulnerable children in the European Union have access to healthcare, education, childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition, ultimately aiming to ensure progressive realisation of child’s rights in Europe.
The European Commission has partnered with UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECAR) for Phase III of the Preparatory Action for a Child Guarantee to demonstrate the feasibility of the Child Guarantee in seven selected EU Member states.
The 24-month pilot programme, “Testing the Child Guarantee in the EU Member States”, will contribute to developing the Child Guarantee framework at the EU level as well as showcase innovative approaches and develop national action plans to reduce child poverty and address systemic disadvantages for children in seven Member states: Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain. During this period, UNICEF will be supporting the European Commission and the seven countries in a series of activities at EU-wide, national and sub-national levels.
1 in 5 children in the EU is living in poverty.
‘Child Guarantee’ aims to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and exclusion.
The Main Results of the Phase III of the Child Guarantee:
1. National Action Plans to address child poverty and social exclusion are in development based on a comprehensive policy and programme Deep Dive. The national action plans will serve as models for how the Child Guarantee can be rolled out across EU Member states.
2. Innovative and evidence-based models of services and interventions focused on the most vulnerable children are being developed, implemented and assessed as concrete strategies to reach the most vulnerable children.
3. EU-wide Child Guarantee Operational Framework will be developed, verified and recommended to the Commission in order to inform the implementation of the Child Guarantee by EU Member States as well as its monitoring of progress and outcomes by the Commission and states. This framework will include common and comparable monitoring indicators, including also country-specific ones, which will be compiled in a scoreboard. It will contain recommendations for strengthening national statistical offices and data systems, as well as ‘models’ of National Action Plans to tackle child poverty and social exclusion of children
Child Guarantee in Croatia
In Croatia the specific interventions in the framework of Phase III of the Child Guarantee aim to ensure access to integrated, multidisciplinary, adequately resourced community and family-based support services, pre-primary-education and early childhood intervention for children living in precarious situations (including families living in poor households, with special focus on Roma children and families) and children with disabilities in the Medjimurje District in Croatia.
2 TARGET GROUPS: children with disabilities and children in precarious family situations
1 DISTRICT: Medjimurje and 7 municipalities
3 INTERVENTIONS: Integrated child protection and family support services, Early childhood intervention services, Access to quality pre-primary education
|Integrated child protection and
|Quality pre-primary education||Early childhood interventions||Local level coordination|
|What: The most vulnerable children and their parents and caregivers (including Roma) have access to integrated child protection and family support services that enable prevention, early identification, referral and provision of services in accordance with the child’s best. This will include supporting selected municipalities with the establishment of community resource centers as well as supporting the capacities of local authorities and service providers.||What: All vulnerable children (including Roma, children with disabilities and children living in precarious family situations) have effective access to quality pre-primary education to prevent social exclusion and early school-drop out. This will include strengthening capacities of pre-primary education professionals and parents, establishment of new facilities, and development of a regulative framework for local government.||What: Young children with or at risk of developmental delay and those with disability and their families will have improved access to integrated and coordinated early childhood interventions services that timely and adequately address their developmental needs. This includes provision of coordinated and integrated quality early childhood intervention services, strengthened knowledge and skills of health, education and social protection professionals, parenting support and improved data collection.||Coordination:
A Programme Implementation Committee on the level of Medjimurje County has been established to provide overall guidance and support to the implementation and monitoring of the Programme at the county level, with the representatives of the Medjimure county, the 7 municipalities, 1 representative from the Roma community and UNICEF.
|Where: Medjimurje County||Where: Medjimurje County||Where: Medjimurje County|
|Progress: Social Welfare Centre Čakovec, Branch Family Centre, has been supported with additional capacities. Parenting support programmes already provided to 117 beneficiaries. Capacity development of social welfare workforce: adaptation and development of training materials, including supervision and establishment of multisectoral teams ongoing.||Progress: Due to COVID-19, the training “Persona Doll” aimed at helping educators to help young children to talk about their ideas, experiences and feelings in a safe space, has been translated to online modality. Mobile service provision modalities are being explored to reach children during the pandemic. Due to COVID-19, the training “Persona Doll” aimed at helping educators to help young children to talk about their ideas, experiences and feelings in a safe space, has been translated to online modality. Mobile service provision modalities are being explored to reach children during the pandemic.||Progress: An analysis of ECI services and other ECD resources for young children and the development of an integrated ECI Action Plan/Framework for the Medjimurje County is underway. The County has established a multisectoral task group on ECI to oversee the piloting of these services. The piloting of the service is also underway in cooperation with the Medjimurje Association for Early Childhood Intervention.|
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