European Union and UNICEF continue to support children with disabilities to enjoy a family type environment in Georgia
Tbilisi, Georgia, 19 April 2022. Children with disabilities, who previously resided in the Kojori institution will benefit from a family type environment and quality care services, thanks to the programme supported by the European Union and implemented by UNICEF and McLain Association for Children (MAC) in close cooperation with the State Care Agency and the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs.
Within the framework of the Joint EU-UNICEF Programme “Strengthening Systems and Services for Child Protection in Georgia”, UNICEF and MAC Georgia provide comprehensive multidisciplinary professional support to the specialized family type services in Telavi and Chkhorotsku, which now host 13 children transferred from the institution. The Kojori institution for children with disabilities was closed by the Government of Georgia as part of the deinstitutionalization reform, which aims to ensure family- and community-based care for all children in Georgia.
UNICEF and MAC Georgia will work to enhance the quality of services so that family type environment is available and accessible for children with disabilities. In particular they will:
- identify the newly created service needs and provide recommendations for further improvement.
- provide on- job trainings to caregivers and local multidisciplinary teams on behavior management of children with disabilities, effective communication with children and child’s individual developmental plans.
- strengthen the professional capacity of psychologists, occupational therapist, social workers, pediatricians, as well as caregivers who are in close contact with the children living in the services. This includes facilitating case management and inclusion of children in age-appropriate activities outside of the service (school, rehabilitation services etc).
- develop a concept and tools for monitoring and supervision of specialized family type services to be further institutionalized in the State Care Agency and the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs.
Starting from 2021 UNICEF, in partnership with the Government of Georgia and with the support of the European Union, has initiated a process to discuss next steps of the Child Care Reform to ensure a family environment for every child still residing in large-scale institutions. Since then, UNICEF has supported the Government in developing the joint strategy and action plan to accelerate the reform, and to ensure that large residential care facilities are gradually closed.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/