Family is key to a child’s healthy personality
Social partnerships between NGOs and the Government are an innovative method of providing support to families
Social workers from the NGO "Barkaror hayot," joined specialists from regional departments of the Ministry for Support of Mahalla and Family of the Republic of Uzbekistan from seven pilot regions, and representatives of healthcare and education, to take part in a training on September 15-18, 2020 in Termez. The training was organized within the framework of the project “Protection of children affected by migration in Southeast, South and Central Asia”, funded by the European Union and UNICEF.
The specialists upgraded their knowledge and skills on the basics of social work, the practical application of case management, and learned how agencies can work together to support women and children. The participants worked in groups and actively discussed the social problems of vulnerable families.
“We worked with a mother with many children, whose husband is a labour migrant and does not provide financial support to the family. The family was in dire need of money, so we helped two of the teenage sons get jobs in a café, combining their work with their studies. Now we are helping the mother find a job,” said Nurmukhammad Kurbonov, social worker at the NGO “Barkaror hayot”.
One of the goals of social work is expand the professional skills of family members, based on their strengths and interests, to enable them to earn money themselves, without depending on outside support.
Social workers discussed their contribution to social change and the need to adhere to ethics and confidentiality when dealing with families. They analyzed social work methods, the difficulties faced by workers, and ways to improve social services in the local community. The participants paid special attention to the issue of the social crisis in migrant families.
“A lot of children do not communicate with their mothers when they are abroad, as they do not have the money to pay for an Internet connection. We offered to regularly visit these families and personally communicate with their parents through the IMO app", said Farrukh Chariev, deputy director of the NGO "Barkaror hayot".
Participants also discussed how important it is for the social worker to see the problem through the lens of social work, from the point of view of protecting the rights of children and women, and to understand that social problems are often a factor of family dysfunction.
“It is necessary to understand that labour migration not only increases income, but also creates the basis for the emergence of dysfunction in the family. Both children and parents suffer from this in the future”, - says Dilnoza Khusanova, head of the department for social work at RCSAC.
She also noted that labour migration can often break family ties. Children are left without hope, supervision, support, love and attention, without parental care, and grow up with personal problems.
"A child who wanders the street and runs away from home, away from his parents, is a sign of that family’s dysfunction, since the child is not receiving emotional support and love," emphasizes Dilnoza Khusanova.
Unfortunately, some problems cannot be solved without the involvement of sponsors and the most difficult factor in helping families is financial support.
"We did everything necessary for the family to recover a lost birth certificate and all we had to do was pay for services. Unfortunately, under the charter of support services, national laws do not indicate an obligation to provide financial support in such situations," - said Oliya Ilmuradova, director of the NGO "Barkaror hayot".
The regional department of the Ministry for Support of Mahalla and Family is the main partner of "Barkaror hayot" within the project implemented in the Surkhandarya region with the support of the European Union and UNICEF. The city and district offices of this department identify families affected by migration and report to “Barkaror hayot” for further action. "Barkaror hayot" provides these families with legal advice and support at a professional level, often acting as a bridge between families and government agencies.
“The NGO “Barkaror hayot” has shown itself as a major and important partner in helping families and children affected by migration. We would like all specialists working with families in mahalla committees to have the opportunity to learn the basics of social work practice”, said Sayodkhon Shoimuratova, a specialist in working with families from the Mahalla and Family Support department of Shurchinsky district.
It is critical that social workers, NGOs and governmental organizations work together, since most problems in families are related to improving their housing conditions, material support and restoration or acquisition of personal documents, issues which are best solved by government bodies.
To support these families effectively, employees of government organizations need social work knowledge and skills; they must understand case management, how to assess families and their risk level, and be able to draw up a service plan. The training in Termez will increase government specialists’ efficiency in working with clients and providing them with comprehensive assistance.