As part of an eight-year-old partnership, Hope and Homes for Children Romania and the Botoșani General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection (DGASPC) have continued to implement their three-pillar support programme: preventing child-family separation, reintegrating children from the protection system back in their families, the social and professional insertion of young people leaving the system. This year’s novelty is the direct cooperation with local public authorities in the Botoșani county in those cases where there is a risk of children being separated from their parents. The two partner institutions organized three working meetings at the Botoșani DGASPC headquarters, in March, May and August 2017 respectively, attended by social workers and experts from 27 communities in the county.

Cosmina Fratu, Hope and Homes for Children social worker, and Lăcrămioara Radu, DGASPC Botoșani Head of Office for Programmes, Strategies, Monitoring, Partnerships and APL Coordination, jointly presented the programme toolkit to the participating social workers. The participants presented on-field cases, they assessed support opportunities, they learned to analyse and prioritise the needs of a vulnerable family. 

According to Lăcrămioara Radu, speaking for the institution, the partnership between DGASPC Botoșani and Hope and Homes for Children benefits both sides equally:

“We are very happy about our partnership. To focus on these meetings in particular, we could easily notice the involvement, the determination and the professionalism of the participating social workers, who were eager to find out about and to have access to support opportunities for vulnerable families in their communities. In the wake of these meetings, the social workers told us about cases of children running the risk of being separated from the family, with a view to have them included in the support programme. Our joint teams visited these children and their families, assessed their needs as individuals and as members of the family and included them in our material support programme”.

Cosmina Fratu, Hope and Homes for Children senior social worker, considers these meetings very important, as they provide opportunities for continuous interaction between the trainers and the participants:

“The experience I have gained so far has taught me that social workers understand the need for quick intervention in risk cases. The longer this intervention is postponed, the worse the problem gets, thus making it more difficult to intervene at all. In addition, these meetings stress the importance of case management as a working tool, involving as many social actors as possible to tackle the needs of vulnerable families”.