Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection KOMF in frame of the project “Protection of child rights in Kosovo” finance by the EU Office in Kosovo and co-financed by the UNICEF Office in Kosovo, held its second National Conference to further address the recommendations of the Child Protection Index 2.0.
The conference addressed issues related to advancement and quality of provision of social services, including the empowerment of an open scheme of service provision among public and nongovernmental/private providers, integration of social and family services with health and education services, development and strengthening of family services and community based services, reforming of the forms of protection, accountability and financing of social services.
Panel was composed by: Mrs. Besa Baftiu, Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare, Kosovo Assembly, Mr. Burim Behluli, President of the Board at the Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection – KOMF, Mr. Mentor Morina, Acting Director of the Social and Family Policies Department, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Mrs. Vlora Limani Hajnuni – Head of the Collegium for Health and Social Welfare, Association of Kosovo Municipalities and Mr. Dren Rexha, Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF.
The President of KOMF, Mr. Behluli emphasized the importance of such conferences by utilizing the very good moment of revision of the current legislation which should further address the needs to develop and enhance the quality of social services in Kosovo.
Deputy of the Kosovo Assembly, Mrs. Baftiu acknowledged the need to improve social services and noted the recommendations from the report of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare of Kosovo Assembly which were approved in the Assembly as part of the Concept Document on the Law on Social and Family Services.
Representative of UNICEF Office in Kosovo, Mr. Dren Rexha underlined that social services should be a priority and be seen as part of the overall social protection, which are an essential element that guarantees a dignified life for all citizens
Mr. Mentor Morina from MLSW briefed on the recent steps taken by MLSW and the priorities of the central level for the advancement of social services, through the incorporation into the Concept Document on the Law on Local Government Finance, the creation of a Specific Grant for Social Services, which will guarantee the sustainable financing of social services in Kosovo.
Head of the Collegium for Health and Social Welfare in Kosovo, Vlora Limani Hajnuni emphasized the lack of necessary coordination and communication between the central and the local level and as a consequence the lack of necessary budget allocation for the implementation of policies transposed from the central level, to municipalities at the local level.
After the introductory speech, Mr. Gani Lluga, Member of the Board at the Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection in Kosovo – KOMF briefly presented the main findings of the Child Protection Index 2.0, related to the advancement of social services to ensure quality protection for children in need, which are at the same time part of the position drafted by KOMF on the concept document for amending the Law on Social and Family Services.
Among the key recommendations he mentioned determining the Social Services forms, empowering prevention and reintegration services, organizing Social and Family Services, integration of social and family services on health and education services, development and empowerment of family services and community-based services, reform of forms of protection, increasing the quality of services, accountability and financing of social services.
From the open discussion between the representatives of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare, MLSW, Ombudsperson Institution, Municipalities, Collegium for Health and Social Welfare, OGG, CSW, UNICEF, and various local and international organizations the following recommendations were provided:
- Determine the Social Services forms, empowering prevention and reintegration services;
- Organizing Social and Family Services (strengthening of an open service delivery scheme between public and non-governmental / private providers);
- Integration of social and family services on health and education services;
- Development and empowerment of family services and community-based services, reform of forms of protection;
- Increasing the quality of services;
- Financing of social services;
- Clear definition of the contributing role and not just the implementer of the Center for Social Work;
- Define the role of the Social Worker as a professional body and not as a civilian body;
- Licensing of services of public and private institutions;
- Segregation of the Directorate for Health and Social Welfare at the municipal level, in two separate directorates, for Health and Social Welfare;
- Define mechanisms for monitoring the quality of social services;
- Create programs and initiatives for educating all citizens on the importance of social services;
- Define the report of social services with those of social assistance, so that the provision of social services aims at extracting citizens from the social assistance scheme.