The five-day training workshop which started on Saturday 7th December, will be accompanied by a nine-month on-the-job coaching and supervision for 40 experts of the State Welfare Organisation (SWO) and Social Clinics with the aim of building SWO’s capacity to ensure provision and monitoring of care services to these children and their families.
UNICEF Iran Representative, Ms Mandeep O’Brien, in her opening remarks at the workshop highlighted the important role of family in a child’s growth and development, provision of alternative care for children separated from their families, and the key role that SWO plays in this regard.
She said: ”Many of us have a child or are involved in the lives of children in some way. We all know that family is the foundation of society where a child’s development, wellbeing and protection should naturally happen. And we want children to grow up in a caring family to be happy, healthy, strong and productive. Yet millions of children around the world are growing up without one or both of their parents due to the impact of poverty, diseases, separation of parents or crises natural or man-made. This puts children at a higher risk of discrimination, inadequate care, abuse and exploitation.”
UNICEF Representative acknowledged that the SWO has taken key steps to develop standard protocols and enhance the capacity of its professionals for supervision and monitoring of care services to children in family-based foster care settings. “As one of the main organisations serving the most vulnerable children, SWO is one of UNICEF’s key partners and there is tremendous potential to expand our cooperation in future,” She concluded.
Dr. Habibollah Masoudi Farid, Deputy for Social Affairs of the State Welfare Organization, in his remarks at the opening ceremony of the workshop said: ”Today many countries pay special attention to children’s issues and invest in this area. Some countries spend 2 to 4 percent of their gross domestic product on pre-school integrated early childhood development.”
He said there are children with special needs who require special attention and added: “one group of such children are those with no caregivers or without effective caregivers.”
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.