Enhancing the capacities of state and municipal officials in the field of deinstitutionalisation
In 2015, three Lithuanian non-governmental organisations, together with Norway’s partners, pooled their forces and took the initiative to implement the project “State and municipal servants capacity building in the field of de-institutionalization, based on the good experience of Norway”. These organisations are: the national umbrella association NGO for Children Confederation that brings together over 80 organisations working for the children, the Žiburys Charity and Support Foundation and the public institution Community Development Centre. The partner organisation from Norway is Fyrlykta NO, working in the field of quality child care.
The project started in September 2015 and will be completed in 2016. At the end of July, there will be a discussion on the process of reforming the current childcare system in Lithuania and to inform municipalities on what is actually being sought in this process. We often hear that the reforming seeks to close childcare institutions, although in fact the main aim of all changes is to develop a flexible, efficient and timely system of assistance, services and support for families and children. The family must receive all necessary assistance in the process of child education and upbringing in order to adequately meet the needs of the child, while taking children from the family would be the final and radical resource.
The project involved a study on childcare features in Lithuania and Norway, and the preparation of an informative material on the reforms. There were seminars for 13 municipal representatives in Druskininkai, Anykščiai and Trakai. The seminars gave information to the representatives of municipalities about the process of deinstitutionalization in Lithuania, discussing the changes that need to be made in social and other services in order to reduce the country’s dependence on institutions and to enable children to grow up in a family-friendly environment. The purpose of these seminars is to encourage and prepare municipalities to move from the institutional model of childcare that continues from the Soviet times to the model reflecting contemporary and current socio-economic status and the principles of a free society.
As many as 40 project participants (municipal staff responsible for child rights and social services) from different cities and towns of Lithuania participated in two study visits in Norway (Oslo and Fredrikstad cities). During the visits, the participants had an opportunity to directly see the system at work, as well as the methods and measures used in the country to ensure the proper development of children and a sustainable and systematic implementation of the policy of protecting the rights of the child. They also visited institutions providing assistance and services to families with children, children with behavioural problems and working with those in charge of the care.
The municipalities participating in the project are as follows: Anykščiai district, City of Vilnius, Jurbarkas District, Elektrėnai District, Utena District, Rokiškis District, Švenčionys District, Ukmergė District, Mažeikiai District. and Širvintų District.
You are welcome to contact the Confederation of NGO Children any time for the material created during the project.
The information was prepared in the framework of the project “State and municipal servants capacity building in the field of de-institutionalization, based on the good experience of Norway” funded by the financial mechanisms of the Kingdom of Norway for 2009-2014, under the Ministry of the Interior programme LT10 “Capacity-Building and Institutional Cooperation between Beneficiary State and Norwegian Public Institutions, Local and Regional Authorities“.