As a result of quarantine measures introduced in Ukraine, more than 40,000 children who were raised in boarding schools were forced to return to their families without first checking the conditions there.
This is stated in a statement on the website of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine.
“UNICEF and its partners are deeply concerned that, as a result of activities launched by the government, 42,000 children, including children with disabilities who have been raised in boarding schools and other institutions, have been returned to their families. The return took place without first checking the conditions in the families of these children. “A significant portion of these families are at risk and in difficult financial circumstances,” the statement said.
At the same time, it is feared that the current stressful conditions “increase the likelihood of neglect or even cruel treatment of children, and add the risks of placing children in institutions after quarantine”. After all, social workers and children’s services workers cannot visit and monitor families.
UNICEF called on the Ukrainian government to take comprehensive action to support these children and their families – both financially and through social services at the local level.
In particular, there is a need to provide support and supervision to families at risk, financial and material assistance to socially vulnerable families to which children have been removed from institutions; provide clear instructions and support to local authorities and heads of institutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in them, and provide the necessary protective equipment to prevent a possible epidemic.
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In addition, according to UNICEF, clear instructions and support should be given to protect social workers and child protection services so that they can visit the families to which they have returned the children.
“It is essential to use the current crisis and its consequences to revise the state’s approach to institutionalizing children, to which it is necessary to reallocate significant financial resources that are used to provide institutional assistance , prevent family separation, reunite the family and provide alternative, appropriate forms of education when necessary, “insists UNICEF.
Earlier, the Ministry of Social Policy, as part of the introduction of quarantine measures in Ukraine, developed and sent to regional and city governments of Kiev a recommended action algorithm to protect the rights of children and social support for families with quarantined children.
According to the materials: ukrinform.ru