Integrated Community Centers
The place where disadvantaged children find everything they need for their education, protection and health
Being small, being poor, being Roma. Being a child and having parents who cannot do for you what they cannot do for themselves – provide accces to „normal” resources for the majority, but „extraordinary” for them. Health, education, heating, running water, food, guidance. Where should they start and whom to ask? They lack information, courage, support and answers.
Over 42 per cent of children in Romania are affected by poverty or social exclusion. The vulnerable children have reduced access to health services, and they can also be exposed to violence, abuse and discrimination.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the situation. It takes only once chance to break the vicious circle of disadvantaged families and for these children to have better destination in their lives. They need solutions, but also a simple and accessible way of solving problems that does not put any additional pressure on their parents. Actually, the solution should be at their disposal, in their area of residence, where they can ask for and receive help in order to be healthier and to be able to learn from trained people, empathic professionals who have the ability and resources to help people who have been drifting so far.
UNICEF honors its commitment to support the vulnerable people with concrete solutions aimed to improve the availability, accessibility and quality of integrated basic and specialized services – including health, education and social care. In this way, UNICEF and partners are setting up the Integrated Community Centers (ICC). Gathering together all the solutions in one place. It will take a single trip, a single door open to a better future for disadvantaged children.
These Integrated Community Centers will bring together specialized services provided by professionals in different fields: social worker, community nurse, school counselor, medical doctors, speech therapists, psychologists, physiotherapists. These centers are part of the initiative Romania for Every Child. Making social inclusion real - breaking the cycle of exclusion for the most vulnerable children in Romania, which aims to contribute actively to the social inclusion of the most vulnerable children in Romania: children with disabilities, especially children in urban and rural areas and Roma children.
They will open in five municipalities/towns/communes – Bacău and Brasov, Moinesti, Colonesti and Corbasca together with 11 nearby communes.
The initiative benefits from a grant of 4.2 million euros provided by Norway through Norway Grants under the Local Development Program administered by the Romanian Social Development Fund.
UNICEF and its partners are implementing this project, from the partitioning of the buildings that will host the Centers to the halls’ arranging (bringing special furniture and appropriate equipment for providing the services), making sure the entire space would be both functional and friendly for children and their families. UNICEF and its partners are also working on hiring professionals who can provide the necessary services in the centers.
More than 3,400 vulnerable children from urban and rural areas will benefit from these integrated and specialized services. To have a better life now and in the future, these children and their families won’t have to knock on so many doors anymore. They will now have just one door, closer to their homes. That door would be opened for them. In this way they will start a new, better life.
More Information about the Integrated Community Centers: