REFORM OF RESIDENTIAL SYSTEM

GEN2032W* REFORM OF RESIDENTIAL SYSTEM TO START IN SIX PILOT DISTRICTS OF MOLDOVA

Chisinau-14.07.2006/15:19:40/(BASA-general) The reform of residential system and placement of institutionalised children in families will start soon in six selected regions in Moldova, Deputy Minister of Education and Youth Valentin Crudu has announced.

Crudu told Friday a conference held to launch the TACIS II project Development of Integrated Social Services for Vulnerable Families and Children Facing Risk that innovative models of services will be tested in residential institutions in the Balti municipality and districts of Hancesti, Telenesti, Straseni, Floresti and Falesti. „It is important to reintegrate our children from boarding schools into families or within other alternative forms of care for children such as the professional parent assistance, family-type orphanages or placement centres,” Crudu said.

The deputy minister noted that families who will accept to look after children from residential institutions will benefit of social and financial assistance.

Ray Virgilio Torres, representative of UNICEF-Moldova, told the conference that only children whose situation cannot be solved must be placed in residential institutions. „However, children cannot be withdrawn from institutions if another sure environment is not available to them in other place and that�s why individual plans must be drafted for every minor and the reintegration into family and community must be their final goal,” Torres added.

The TACIS II project Development of Integrated Social Services for Vulnerable Families and Children Facing Risk is financed by the European Union, which has released two million dollars. The project is being implemented by UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and it will be completed in late 2007. Also on Friday, the six selected districts received by a car Niva from UNICEF to optimise the reform in residential institutions.

According to data of the Ministry of Education and Youth, there are 68 residential institutions in Moldova and they hold more than 12,000 children while about 90 percent of them have parents.

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