Investing in Children Services, Alfonso Lara Montero Slides

Report
Investing in Children Services
Improving Outcomes
Alfonso Lara Montero, Policy Director
Children & the Economic Crisis -European Perspectives,
University of Southampton, 10 November 2014
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Investing in Children Services
Working towards an EC Recommendation
• Independent European network for local public social services
• 2007: Seminar analysing multidimensional nature of child
poverty and programmes
• 2010: Children and Families report Breaking the cycle of
deprivation
• 2011: Seminar Investing in Children: Early Years & Child
Protection --up-to-date input from public services
• 2012: Position papers on the EC Recommendation and
assessment of SPC advisory report
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Investing in Children
Breaking the cycle of disadvantage
QUALITY? IMPLEMENTATION?
A
C
C
E
S
S
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Investing in Children Services
The project
Objective
Enhance knowledge of children services & policies across 14 European
countries to contribute to implementing the EU Recommendation Investing
in Children
How
• Questionnaire & Analysis
• Peer Reviews
• Country profiles
• Cross-country analysis
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Investing in Children Services
Preliminary findings
Common to most countries analysed so far…
REFORM
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Preliminary findings
Bulgaria
Vision for DI of children services; specific target:
Closing the 137 institutions that existed in Dec 2009 by
2025
How?
•
•
•
•
Working with families
Developing alternative services
Promoting foster care
New financing directed to services
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Preliminary findings
Bulgaria
Annual Monitoring Reports
•
Appeal for holistic approach: legislation to be “improved
in other key areas related to child well-being such as
health, education, justice, social welfare and family
policy”
•
Rapid multiplication of family and childcare services, but
are they fit for purpose?
•
Consolidation of existing services accompanied by more
work in the field of prevention
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Preliminary findings
Ireland
• Economic downturn & budgetary constraints
• Key changes:
• Department for Children established
• Referendum to strengthen children’s rights
• National Agency for Children and Families established
• National infrastructure of local Children’s Services Committees
(Local Authority areas) in development
• Reinforcement of services provision but clear monitoring and
evaluation still to be achieved
• Establishment of a monitoring and evaluation infrastructure provided
through the new Child and Family Agency
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Preliminary findings
Spain
Child poverty measured as income poverty within families
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Preliminary findings
Spain
• I Plan for Childhood & Adolescence developed in 2006-2009;
Improvement in child benefits and services, but limited and disparate
across regions
• Regions responsible for labour and social services policies
• Most analyses emphasise crisis’ impact on labour market for
households with children
• 2013: Territorial Council of Social Services approved “Social services
reference catalogue” with family support tools tailored by regions
• Urgent actions:
Social inclusion of at-risk children combining academic support,
support with meals and books, compensation programmes
Better coordination between GPs, schools & social services to
identify children at risk
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Preliminary findings
A regional case: Catalonia
Social investment directed to guaranteeing essential services
2010
budget
2013
prorogation
2014
budget
5.222,4
9.684,4
1.930,2
99,5
58,7
4.139,4
8.202,8
1.628,0
100,0
58,1
4.147,4
8.216,2
1.630,5
173,0
65,6
Total social expenditure
16.995,3
14.128,3
14.232,7
Total Ministries and cross-cutting funds
25.486,3
20.254,7
20.295,5
67,8%
70,9%
71,1%
Education
Health
Social Welfare and Family
Minimum Income Schemes
Housing benefits for Families
% Social expenditure / total Ministries
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Preliminary findings
A regional case: Catalonia
Services
Policies
• Increase free school
• Monitoring Committees
meals
• Children’s Boards
• Increase emergency
(Regional and local)
social assistance
• Council for Children and • Fuel poverty
Young People
• Rent support
• Young people leaving
care
• Professionalisation of
fostering
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Investing in Children Services
Preliminary conclusions
• Economic crisis impact
• New ways of delivering services
• Reinforcing coordination policies
• Incipient systematic and evidence-based
approaches
• Emerging greater focus on outcomes
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