In Albania institutions for orphan children are part of the legacy left by the totalitarian state, which established the policy based on the idea that the state is able to better care for children than their families. This policy continued for more than 50 years and left lasting traces on public attitudes and mentality of people in the country about the orphan children. Twenty-seven years after the political changes, the institutionalization of child care in Republic of Albania continues to be an unresolved issue that cannot be explained only with the totalitarian past. The process of decentralization and deinstitutionalization of children in Albania started in years 2000, but the most important phase was in 2005 with the implementation of social law 9355. Referring to deinstitutionalization in Central and Eastern Europe started in the 80’s. This transition began after the political changes and accession into the European Union when these countries implemented the UNCRC and a child rights and protection focused approach into their legislation for the provision of health and social services (Sloten, 2017, pp.8-10). In Albania, from 2005 until 2013, there were any important change in social services, while in 2014 the government approved administrative and territorial reform that organize the country in 61 Municipalities imposing concrete implementation of decentralization and deinstitutionalization of social services. In the Municipality of Shkoder were established multiple institutions, both public and private, offering social services for orphans (Cabran, Finelli, Bradford, 2016, p.14). Placement of children within these established institutions depends on the child’s age, geographic region of provenance, type of orphan (biological or social), and disabilities. In the framework of a project financed by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development through Italian NGO IPSIA, and called “The community of the future: interventions of socio-work inclusion for Shkoder’s orphans”, a research group formed by University of Shkoder, University of Bologna, NGOs IPSIA and SHIS, was established in order to conduct a needs assessment of these services, their staff members and orphans. The research will orient the Municipality, the University of Shkoder and NGOs working in the territory, to plan future social interventions and improve the quality of life and inclusion of orphan children living in institutions. Main objectives of the research are: to get information about the organization of public and private institutions for orphan children in Shkoder Municipality; to get information about the implementation and respect of children rights in these institutions for orphan children; to identify different models of work in these institutions; to identify different challenges that these institutions are fronting; to analyse the level of inclusion/exclusion of those orphans from active citizenship and participation. Some of the research questions are: Which are the architectonical conditions of institutions and are they suitable for orphan children? Has the staff of institutions for orphan children the appropriate qualification to work with this target group? How is organized daily life in these institutions? How staff design and plan educational activities for individuals and community in the institution? How is the relationship between the staff and the orphan children? Do the institutions for orphan children cooperate with other educational agencies in the community? Is there in the territory an organized network of institutions supporting services for orphan children? Does the staff of residential institutions for orphans respect the rights of children like: right to education, to social inclusion and private life, to equality and to play for children and disabled people?

Children rights and social inclusion of orphan children in residential care institutions: a project in Shkoder Municipality

Elena Pacetti
Primo
;
2018

Abstract

In Albania institutions for orphan children are part of the legacy left by the totalitarian state, which established the policy based on the idea that the state is able to better care for children than their families. This policy continued for more than 50 years and left lasting traces on public attitudes and mentality of people in the country about the orphan children. Twenty-seven years after the political changes, the institutionalization of child care in Republic of Albania continues to be an unresolved issue that cannot be explained only with the totalitarian past. The process of decentralization and deinstitutionalization of children in Albania started in years 2000, but the most important phase was in 2005 with the implementation of social law 9355. Referring to deinstitutionalization in Central and Eastern Europe started in the 80’s. This transition began after the political changes and accession into the European Union when these countries implemented the UNCRC and a child rights and protection focused approach into their legislation for the provision of health and social services (Sloten, 2017, pp.8-10). In Albania, from 2005 until 2013, there were any important change in social services, while in 2014 the government approved administrative and territorial reform that organize the country in 61 Municipalities imposing concrete implementation of decentralization and deinstitutionalization of social services. In the Municipality of Shkoder were established multiple institutions, both public and private, offering social services for orphans (Cabran, Finelli, Bradford, 2016, p.14). Placement of children within these established institutions depends on the child’s age, geographic region of provenance, type of orphan (biological or social), and disabilities. In the framework of a project financed by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development through Italian NGO IPSIA, and called “The community of the future: interventions of socio-work inclusion for Shkoder’s orphans”, a research group formed by University of Shkoder, University of Bologna, NGOs IPSIA and SHIS, was established in order to conduct a needs assessment of these services, their staff members and orphans. The research will orient the Municipality, the University of Shkoder and NGOs working in the territory, to plan future social interventions and improve the quality of life and inclusion of orphan children living in institutions. Main objectives of the research are: to get information about the organization of public and private institutions for orphan children in Shkoder Municipality; to get information about the implementation and respect of children rights in these institutions for orphan children; to identify different models of work in these institutions; to identify different challenges that these institutions are fronting; to analyse the level of inclusion/exclusion of those orphans from active citizenship and participation. Some of the research questions are: Which are the architectonical conditions of institutions and are they suitable for orphan children? Has the staff of institutions for orphan children the appropriate qualification to work with this target group? How is organized daily life in these institutions? How staff design and plan educational activities for individuals and community in the institution? How is the relationship between the staff and the orphan children? Do the institutions for orphan children cooperate with other educational agencies in the community? Is there in the territory an organized network of institutions supporting services for orphan children? Does the staff of residential institutions for orphans respect the rights of children like: right to education, to social inclusion and private life, to equality and to play for children and disabled people?
Conference Abstracts ECER 2018
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Elena Pacetti; Visar Dizdari; Bujanë Topalli
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