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Fewer children in institutions in 2013.

by , Posted on 28th Mar 2014

The number of children who received some form of social protection in Serbia increased in the past year.

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Brankica Jankovic said:

The number of children who received some form of social protection in Serbia increased in the past year, which can be attributed to increased poverty, as well as to changes in the law that enabled greater coverage of families.

We need additional forms of support because children from poor families, that receive financial social assistance, are also exposed to many other risks, such as risk of separating children from their parents. Therefore, a new pilot service of the Social Work Centres – the Family Outreach Worker, is being carried out. The aim of this innovative program is the early intervention support for families at risk, regardless of the difficulties.

The “Family Outreach Worker” is a three-year project, financed by the Novak Djokovic Foundation in the amount of US$ 750,000, supported by UNICEF in cooperation with the Serbian Government (Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy).

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Jankovic pointed out that there is a noticeable decrease in the number of children in institutions (for the first time the number is less than 1000), which is a great success given the fact that the ground of social support for children and families was once in those institutions.

The number of foster families has increased, and the goal is reduction in numbers when it comes to separation of children from their parents. Last year, there were 412 cases of separation of children from their families because of violence, in most cases both parents were violent. Prevention efforts have been conducted to eliminate violence, and the response to violence has been improved as a result of the coordinated efforts of all authorities – police, health services and justice.

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NUMBER OF CHILDREN SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES BECAUSE OF VIOLENCE – 412

NUMBER OF CHILDREN WHO RECEIVE SOME FORM OF SOCIAL PROTECTION – 186,500

NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN INSTITUTIONS – 916

NUMBER OF CHILDREN UNDER GUARDIANSHIP – 8,900

INCREASE IN NUMBER OF FAMILY VIOLENCE CASES – 9,800 (2012 – 9,365)

GENERAL TREND OF REDUCTION IN NUMBER OF CHILDREN WITH BIHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS – 16,390

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