Family for every child

Volyn State Administration and UNICEF are committed to building a better care system for children of Volyn

28 April 2023
Serhii Movenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Volyn Regional State Administration and Murat Shahin, UNICEF Ukraine Representative
Serhii Movenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Volyn Regional State Administration and Murat Shahin, UNICEF Ukraine Representative

28 April, Lutsk, Ukraine: Today, Volyn State Regional Administration and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) signed a Declaration of Intent to develop a protection system that will provide better care for children. This system includes the development of social services, the strengthening of family-based care, and the building the child protection capacities of local communities in the Volyn region. 

We commend the Volyn Regional State Administration and local authorities for their commitment to building a Better Care system for all children. UNICEF is committed to sharing its knowledge, skills, and tools to further strengthen the capabilities of Volyn's childcare professionals, in partnership with our national and international partners”, said Murat Sahin, UNICEF Ukraine Representative. “We are very optimistic that this partnership will lead to tangible results for children, their caregivers, communities, and professionals. We also believe that Volyn will set an example for other Oblasts across Ukraine to follow,”, he added.

The Volyn region will be a pilot region in Ukraine, where the Better Care initiative will be implemented in partnership with UNICEF to ensure safe and nurturing family care for all children, especially those who have been separated, internally displaced, children who will be returning, and children who have lost parents.

I have great faith that the Declaration of Intent signed today between the regional administration and UNICEF Ukraine will mark the start of a productive and successful collaboration. Through this partnership, each community will have the chance to identify opportunities for enhancing the well-being of their young residents. The outcomes achieved will enable our region to emerge as a place where every child receives protection, and essential family support services are readily accessible to all families,” said Yuriy Pogulyayko, Head of Volyn Regional State Administration.

Overall, the activities will focus on child protection system strengthening and will include training for social workers and child protection specialists at all levels, equipping the social service workforce, and regional divisions of the State Social Service. Additionally, cross-sectorial multidisciplinary teams will be built, and a social service methodological and training center will be made available at the Oblast level. Social workers will also be deployed to communities to support vulnerable families with children.

Alternative care support for children deprived of parental support will also take place, including the assessment of children in residential care (such as baby homes and psycho-social rehabilitation centers) to determine which children can be safely reunited with their parents or other family members, and children who can be adopted domestically or placed under alternative family-based care arrangements. Potential caregivers will be identified across the Oblast, and will be trained to become alternative families. Children placed in newly created alternative families will be supervised, as will family reunification for children returning from institutionalized care. Family support services will be provided to all involved children and families.

We all share a common belief that every child has the right to grow up in a safe and nurturing family environment that promotes their physical, emotional, and social well-being. Today’s Declaration is an important step to ensure better care for every child in Volyn and beyond”, Mr Sahin concluded. 

Note for editors

The current social welfare and protection systems do not adequately support families, nor are they appropriately designed to prevent risks. This is due to a lack of comprehensive social services at the local level, and insufficient human and financial resources, among other issues. Alternative family-oriented care systems are also not well-developed, and national "gatekeeping" mechanisms are limited. Although community-based services for vulnerable children and their families are being introduced, they face major social and financial barriers to scaling up.

This situation has worsened since the beginning of the war in 2022, as families are under increased pressure and stress due to the conflict, poverty, internal displacement, and limited parenting skills to address child distress, among other challenges.

The Government of Ukraine has been unequivocal in its support for transitioning to a fully family-based social welfare system that would meet the needs of the country’s children and ensure that every child has the opportunity to live in a safe and nurturing family.

To reach this vision, UNICEF will support prevention of any new separation; alternative family-based care; transforming institutional care in Volyn and coming regions and municipalities. 

Media contacts

Damian Rance
Chief Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Ukraine


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