Every child deserves a happy childhood, with a family. From February until December 2021, CCF (Child, Community, Family) Moldova continued, in the context of implementation of the national policies, providing assistance to public authorities at various levels in order to carry out the process of reforming the child care system through a complex set of measures: preventing separation / institutionalisation, promoting reintegration / placement of children in family environments; strengthening the capacity of child protection professionals; and developing social services in partnership with the authorities.

CCF Moldova’s intervention strategy is based on the Case Management methodology, approved and applied as a tool in crises of families with children. The approach contributes to the reduction of specific elements of poverty and social isolation, factors leading to social marginalisation and the risk of separation of children from their families. By December 2021, the total number of children supported through the programme of prevention of institutionalisation/ separation from family and reintegrated / placed in families reached 141 (109 children in the prevention program and 32 reintegrated children).

Poverty and material hardships (as the sole cause) should not be a reason for separation. The family budget, as the premise of a family’s material well-being, is closely dependent on the socio-economic situation in the country, so are the social resources of the family. Conflicts within the family often arise due to the lack of basic means of subsistence. Both children and their families have benefited from complex assistance, based on individualised plan, offered through various types of intervention (social, psychological, legal, medical, educational, etc.), including facilitating access to social services in the community; assessing family’s capacity and potential; rebuilding the connection of the family with the community as a source of resilience (support network); improving living conditions; counselling on /strengthening relationships within the family; mentoring the learning of positive behaviours, aiming to eliminate risk factors, so as to ensure a protective family environment for every child.

„I can’t imagine how I would have managed on my own, with five children and a husband who needs care. I was waking up in the morning and thinking about what to prepare for a meal for the children, what they would put on, and where to go to ask for help… Today we are safe, because I was supported with access to social assistance, I was offered support to be able to give the children what they need and not have to leave them at the orphanage!”,

the children’s mother said.

Being institutionalised from the first months of life, the siblings did not know what it meant to be part of a family, to have love and parental care. After countless official meetings and procedures, these brothers were placed in a foster family. “We go to school every day; we go out to play and we even go to the store. At home we have got birds, animals, and our own mom!”

said one of the children.

Photo: Siblings placed in the Foster Family, included in the educational activities in the community.

The HOPE project – Holistic Child Protection Environment in Moldova – is implemented by Caritas Austria, together with the local co-applicants CCF Moldova – Child, Community, Family, Regina Pacis Foundation and Social Mission “Diaconia” and is funded by the European Union, Austrian Development Agency and Caritas Austria.

The project aims to promote and protect the rights of children in Moldova and works with children, youth, parents, caregivers, foster carers, social workers, teachers, businesses, local and central authorities as well as the wider community on child violence prevention measures. Our action takes places in Chisinau Municipality and in the counties of Nisporeni, Straseni, Anenii Noi, Ialoveni, Singerei and Cimislia and we focus on three different areas.

◊ Juvenile justice: We support the reintegration and inclusion of child and youth offenders through individual support and vocational training.

◊ Specialised foster care: We support families at risk with direct material support, we strengthen the capacity of foster carers through trainings and relevant tools, and we lobby for the adoption of specialised foster care guidelines.

◊ Rural schools: We work with children, parents and teachers in rural schools on the prevention of violence.