Problems related to protection of children who remained without parental care, study

In the Republic of Moldova, there are no efficient mechanisms for implementing the current regulations on the protection of children who remained without parental care. The authorities often do not take into account the recommendations of specialists and do not follow these recommendations because they simply do not want, ombudswoman for children’s rights Maia Bănărescu stated in a news conference at IPN. She presented the results of a study of the children who remained without parental care, which was carried out recently.

“63% of the children live in one-parent families, while 11% of the children are children without parental care. 56% of all the children without parental care are children whose parents left the country. These figures are surely rather important for statistics. For us, they are important as a child who remained without parental care, and this is already grave for him, also does not enjoy support in the extended biological family or in another protection form,” stated Maia Bănărescu, saying these are the data of the National Bureau of Statistics for 2019.

Doctor of Philosophy Rodica Grama, author of the study, said these minors are not supervised in a centralized way. The procedure for determining the status of these children is long and this makes them vulnerable during long periods of time. A large number of parents, who do not fulfill their obligations to maintain and educate the children, go abroad and leave these minors without custody. The small chill benefit for children who remained without parental care makes the profession of parent assistant or parent-educator unattractive.

Rodica Grama also said that some of the local public authorities do not fulfill their obligations to monitor the children who remained without parental care. “There are few specialists who are necessary in dealing with the problems of these children. Eight mayor’s offices do not have a social assistant and a specialist for the protection of children’s rights,” said the author of the study. While analyzing the situation, they tried to highlight the problems of the children without parental care from the perspective of the persons who directly contact with this group of children. First of all, there was underscored the high level of vulnerability of these children after they come of age. If these children are engaged in vocational education, child benefit stops to be paid to them.

“When they come of age, many of them remain without care, without a place to stay, without financial resources and possibilities of survival, which is a discriminatory attitude and stigmatization on the part of society and a barrier to social inclusion and this later generates particular frustrations, psychological problems, distrust and self-isolation tendency. These children cannot continue their studies as they do not have money. Many of them do not know their rights and have reduced possibilities of learning a job and, respectively, of finding a job through the Employment Agency,” stated Rodica Grama

The data provided by the police show that of the 949 children with deviant behavior who are now under supervision, 10% are without parental care. The children with disabilities are also vulnerable. “The children with severe disabilities remain practically without parental care because there are no placement conditions and the relatives do not want to look after them. Moreover, these health problems also come from the negative psycho-emotional loads following the leaving of parents and the lack of affection on the part of these parents,” said Doctor of Philosophy Rodica Grama, university professor. 

Statistics show that about 35,000 children in 2017 were separated from parents and over 30,000 of these had the only parent or both of the parents abroad. As many as 1,079 of them had the status of child who is temporarily without parental care, 3,749 had the status of child without parental care, while 293 children were removed from the family as their presence there posed a threat to their life and health.

The study was conducted in September – December 2019 with the about 30,000 lei that was allocated from the state budget.  

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