Support and development center for children and families (Street children’center)

What does the social service do:

The Center provides a set of social services with the purpose of preventing children ending up in the street and dropping out of school; they ensure social rehabilitation and integration of children who have been deprived of parental oversight and care and children whose behavior jeopardizes their well-being and puts them in conflict with the law.

The work of the Support and Development Center is targeted at:

  • Neglected children, children deprived of parental or replacement care and oversight, vagrant children, children who do heavy work and/or have a way of life that jeopardizes their development;
  • Children who are not covered by the education system, who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out from school;
  • Children aged 3 to 4 years who come from at-risk families and are not covered by the system of kindergartens;
  • Children whose behavior jeopardizes their well-being;
  • Children in conflict with the law;
  • Families in the community who seek advice and support with the upbringing of their children.

Services are delivered by a multidisciplinary team comprised of:

  • social workers;
  • psychologist;
  • experts in the field of pedagogy;
  • nurse;
  • mediator;
  • assistant educators.

The following services are provided in the Center:

Support to Children and Families, including:

  • mobile social work to identify children belonging to the target groups; field work to provide information, counselling, and assistance to children and their families concerning specific issues they may have;
  • group work and individual work with children and youth to help them acquire life skills;
  • counselling of children on matters related to their development and behavior, their relations with peers, parents, and teachers to help children improve their relations in the immediate environment;
  • work with families to improve parenting skills, strengthen the rapport between parents and children, facilitate social integration of families through counselling and support, mediation between families and various institutions, parenting skills training;
  • work with children in conflict with the law, support and accompaniment during legal procedures.

The Education Support Group for School Age Children and Youth at Risk (from 7 to 18 years of age) is intended to work with children who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of school and the goal is to support them in their successful reintegration and retention in the education system.

The Education Support Group for 3 to 4 Year Old Children is intended to work with children of 3 to 4 years of age coming from at-risk families and not attending kindergarten. The goal is to promote children’s development and their preparation for successful inclusion in compulsory preschooling in order to avoid situations where those children do not enroll in school or become early drop-outs. Children’s stay in the group is half-daily and the routine is similar to the one in kindergartens (free time and structured activities).

How to get access to the services:

Children and parents can use the services of the Center

  • by going to the Child Protection Department of the Social Assistance Directorate at the local municipality and obtaining a referral to the service they want; then they need to sign a contract with the service provider for the delivery of the requested service;
  • by submitting an application to the service provider for a specific service and then signing a contract with the provider for the delivery of the requested service.