Planned new social services discussed in two communities in eastern Ukraine
A team of specialists and two communities from Eastern Ukraine - Druzhkivska and Mykolaivska - discussed new social services to be provided to local citizens. Based on a preliminary needs assessment, the Hope and Homes for Children Charitable Foundation developed a list of new services that includes an early intervention services and an extended service package for children with disabilities.
The discussion and the needs assessment both took place in the framework of the ‘Spilno. Social services for families in communities’ project initiated by UNICEF with financial support from the Government of Germany and the German Development Bank (KfW). Representatives of local authorities, education facilities, NGOs and beneficiaries of social services themselves shared their opinions on what must be done to improve the quality of services, and which services are now missing.
The needs assessment in Druzhkivka revealed a lack of services for children with disabilities, psychological support for victims of domestic violence, and daycare services. Druzhkivka residents also reported that the quality of existing services was low. In Mykolaivka, the list of social services is rather limited so far, as there is no social centre at all.
The planned steps towards improving the social system in communities includes training courses for social workers and foster families, as well as the introduction of new social services. They will be available at a new multifunctional social centre to be opened by UNICEF.
“It is important that our joint activities within the ‘Spilno’ project meet the needs of the community’s residents. This meeting is, therefore, an opportunity to receive public feedback on our proposals, hear the ideas, and make sure we follow the needs of the residents and that we have support from community leaders,’ says Ivanna Tkach, Project Coordinator for the Hope and Homes for Children Foundation.
The communities will also enhance opportunities for social support and leisure activities for children and adolescents, including children with disabilities.
In late January, UNICEF signed memoranda with ten communities in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the framework of the ‘Social services for families in communities’ project. These communities include Druzhkivka and Mykolaivka. Funding for the project came from the Government of Germany, which provided a total of EUR5 million to UNICEF through the KfW Development Bank (KfW) to improve social services for families in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine. Part of this funding will be used to establish or extend social service centres in 12 communities, in which social services will be tailored to the specific needs of the residents.
The project is being implemented by UNICEF and five implementing partners, chaired by the ‘Ukrainian Child Rights Network’ Civil Association, with financial support from the Government of Germany and the German Development Bank (KfW). The project’s implementing partners are: SOS Children’s Villages Ukraine, Partnership for Every Child, Social Synergy, Hope and Homes for Children and Mariupol Youth Union.
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.