Services for children in difficulty



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Annex 9

TACIS Project “Capacity Building in Social Policy Reform in Moldova”
SERVICES FOR CHILDREN IN DIFFICULTY

RESIDENTIAL CARE/COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES
David Larter – GDSI ASSOCIATE - EU Financial Expert

Eugenia Veveritsa - National Expert in Social Finance.


October 2005

This project was funded

by the


European Union

This project is

funded by the European Union



Project partner the Moldovan Ministry of Labour and Social Protection

This project is

funded by the European Union



A project implemented

by the


EveryChild Consortium

This project is

funded by the European Union





This project was funded

by the


European Union

This project is

funded by the European Union



This project was funded

by the


European Union

This project is

funded by the European Union



Project partner the Moldovan Ministry of Labour and Social Protection

This project is

funded by the European Union



This project was funded

by the


European Union

This project is

funded by the European Union


T


This project was funded

by the


European Union

This project is

funded by the European Union



A project implemented

by the


EveryChild Consortium

This project is

funded by the European Union


he EveryChild Consortium is the implementing body for this project. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the EveryChild Consortium and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

CONTENTS


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3

INTRODUCTION 5

METHODOLOGY USED 6

SECTION 1: THE CURRENT ANALYSIS AND COST OF RESIDENTIAL SERVICES 6

1.1. THE COST OF AN INTERNAT PLACE 6

1.2. THE EFFECTS OF RESIDENTIAL CARE 7

A. THE EFFECTS FOR THE CHILDREN 7

B. INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENT 8

1.3. THE JUDGEMENT ABOUT RESIDENTIAL CARE 11

SECTION 2: THE RATIONALE FOR AND COST OF ALTERNATIVE COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES 12

2.1. THE COST OF COMMUNITY ALTERNATIVES 12

2.2. THE RATIONALE FOR COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES. 12

IN CONCLUSION 13

APPENDIXES 15

Appendix A. Costs for Internats 15

Table 1: State budget expenses for internats, in Thousand Moldovan Lei 15

Table 2: Beneficiaries in the internats 16

Table 3: Personnel in the internats 17

APPENDIX B. THE COST OF COMMUNITY SERVICES FOR CHILDREN. 19

Methodology of community based services calculations 19

Table B1. THE RESULTS OF THE CALCULATIONS. 20

Further calculations in relations in relation to projected future developments 21

REFERENCES 22



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


In this paper we have examined and compared the cost of maintaining and caring for a child in an internat with the cost of providing social support services to a child living in the community. In order to ensure that the comparison is on a like for like basis we have expressed the comparison in terms of Moldovan Lei (MDL) per child year. All calculations are at 2005 prices and based on 2005 approved budgets.

To achieve authenticity of analysis, the costs for residential institutions have been separated into costs for education and costs for care. The respective figures are:



  1. The maintenance costs in internats for 1 child per year for the 2005 budget year are 10689 MDL. Showing them as separate services we have:

  • Education cost per child per year – 3471 lei

  • Care costs per child per year – 7218 lei

  1. Community services costs:

    • Integration, family support services and Foster care - 4,700 lei

    • Above plus Family Centers - 5,439 lei

Even making the assumption that all children resident in internats will need community service support it can be seen that the costs of community services are less than those of providing care to a child in an internat.

We have examined residential institutions and community services and have commented upon their respective impacts upon and outcomes for children. We have shown that residential care provides poor outcomes for children. Most importantly we have demonstrated that residential care does not provide for the child’s proper psycho-social development and that it results in educational under achievement. We have also demonstrated that the management of residential care is of its nature self serving and undermining of the principal objective of serving the best interest of the child, in compliance with UN Convention on Children’s Rights, ratified by the Republic of Moldova in 1993. We have noted also the lack of adequate assessment of childrens’ needs in the process of deciding placement.

Equally important is the fact that the analysis demonstrates the continuing growth in the costs of internat provision.

The cost analysis of community services clearly demonstrates that these services are affordable local public authorities. Within these services we note the provision of proper assessment prior to any decision to provide support services, the better psycho-social outcome for children growing up in ordinary families and communities and the opportunity for those children to attend mainstream schools with improved chances of achieving educational success. We observe, in this context, that decisions about the child are made by professional staff in touch with the child’s family, circumstances and community.

There is also a strong economic argument in favor of residential system reform. We argue this position from two standpoints. Firstly, that being ineffective in outcome, the current expenditure on residential care is an inappropriate use of public funds and secondly, that this system does not provide appropriate educational opportunities for children to achieve educational success and, in consequence, does not contribute to the priority economic need for Moldova to generate an educated work force capable of contributing to economic regeneration.

We also conclude that the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport should be enabled to concentrate on its primary role by being disencumbered of its present responsibilities for caring for thousands of the nations children, and that these responsibilities should be transferred to the policy responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. Resources for the development of community based welfare services for children should be transferred from the of Education Youth and Sport to Local Public Authorities while other resources released by the reform of internats should be reoriented toward pre-university education.

These changes will contribute to improvements in the child welfare system, to improvements in the general education of children and young people and would have positive economic benefits for the nation.

Finally, although we argue that the community provision discussed in this paper is inherently affordable, we recognize that there are additional short to medium term costs intrinsic to the process of transition which it is beyond the terms of reference of this paper to elucidate. That issue requires further examination and exploration within Ministries and could be undertaken with the support of TACIS and other agencies. We urge that this process and dialogue ensues urgently to secure the objectives of the Presidency and Government of Moldova.


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