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UNICEF and EU launch project aimed to support children in difficult life circumstances

© UNICEF/ Ukraine/ 2009/ V.Vashchenko
Sashko and Sergiyko – beneficiaries of the new UNICEF and EC project in Kmelnitskiy oblast, Ukraine

Khmelnytsky, 17 September 2009 - Today Khmelnytsky Oblast State Adminsitration hosted presentation of the project "Development of Gatekeeping Policies and Systems for Institutionalized and Other Vulnerable Children". Khmelnytsky Oblast State Adminsitration is the main partner of the project. Duration of the project is two years, and it is co-funded by the European Union and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

During the opening ceremony, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie Mokuo said, ‘The main goal of our joint project is developing mechanisms of transformation of the current institutions-based system of state care of children without parental care into a family-based system.’ ‘I hope that experience accumulated during implementation of this project will be valuable for developing and introducing comprehensive social services for children at the regional and national level’, added Mrs. Mokuo.

International experience suggests that success of reforming systems of care of children without parental care largely depends on efficiency of preventive social work with vulnerable families with children at the community level. In such countries as Ukraine, the majority of children deprived of parental care are not biological orphans, but have lost their parents due to social reasons. Therefore, the project is aimed at completing the following tasks:

  1. For reintegration of children deprived of parental care into their families, it will be determined whether reintegration is possible into relatives’ families. Families will be prepared for reintegration. An important element of this activity is monitoring successfulness of reintegration.
  2. Where foster care, family type children’s home or adoption are the best solutions, potential foster or adoptive families will be recruited and trained.
  3. For prevention of early child abandonment, social work in communities will be pursued, concerned to identify families with problems so as to provide support before the problems become unmanageable.
© UNICEF/ Ukraine/ 2009/ V.Vashchenko
Yukie Mokuo and UNICEF team during the visit to the family type children’s home in Kmelnitskiy

Head of Operations of the Delegation of European Commission in Ukraine Laura Garagnani said, ‘This project is a part of the European Union’s strategy in Ukraine aimed to consolidate and protect women’s and children’s rights. We hope that its implementation serve as a good example of introducing new technologies of social work with families and children at the national level.’

The project has been preceded by successful cooperation between Khmelnytsky Oblast State Adminsitration and UNICEF in 2005-2008 in the area of developing family care of children deprived of parental care. Oblast specialists actively participated in developing and testing the methodology of studying individual life situations of children, as well as completing individual plans of social supervision of approx. 500 children of the four oblast state institutions, i.e. the infant home, children’s home, and Holovchyntsi and Vovkovyntsi boarding schools for children deprived of parental care.

During the follow-up discussion, Head of Khmelnytsky Oblast State Adminsitration Ivan Havchuk said, ‘As the result of our cooperation with UNICEF, many children have been placed under guardianship or other forms of family care. Foster families and family type children’s homes presently care of 210 children, and this figure is significantly higher than in 2005 – 34 children. Guardians and trustees care of 1,578 orphans and children deprived of parental care. This makes 66% of the total number of orphans and children deprived of parental care and demonstrates well-developed family traditions in our region. This is an ample resource for family placement of children without parental care, and it should be used and supported during the new project.’

The new project "Development of Gatekeeping Policies and Systems for Institutionalized and Other Vulnerable Children" is implemented by Child Protection Programme, which is a constituent part of cooperation between UNICEF and the Government of Ukraine in 2006-2010.

For more details about the project, please contact:

Veronika Vashchenko, Communication Officer, UNICEF Ukraine, +38-067-927-6038,
Andriy Haidamashko, Child Protection Officer, UNICEF Ukraine, +38-044-254-2450,



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