Social Transfers - UNICEF Office of Research

Report
KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER
Making social protection more effective for children
Reflections on the results of a study in Albania, Kazakhstan and
Ukraine (CEE/CIS)
1
Focus of the study: «Keeping families together –
making social protection more effective for
children»
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Action research – to influence and advocate for reforms
Hypothesis: separation of children from their families is an indicator of vulnerability of a
family and can be prevented with a a combination of social assistance and social services
(components of social protection).
Research questions: What is the impact of current social assistance schemes and social
services on the most vulnerable? What are the barriers to access of these (if any)?
Timing: Research in 2011, in 2012 – global SP framework, repackage of findings
Methodology: Mixed methods (desk review, qualitative and quantitative data collection and
analysis)
Sources of information: Survey data, semi-structured interviews with key (30/country)
stakeholders, focus group discussions ( 4 groups w 10 participants each / country) with
parents who are service users / receipients of SA and with services providers.
Coverage: Albania (2 municipalities), Kazakhstan (3 regions) and Ukraine (2 regions):
urban/rural
Rationale for the research
Reasons for the
institutionalization of
children below 3 years of age
in Central and Eastern
Europe countries
Reasons for the
institutionalisation of
children below 3 years of age
in Western Europe countries
parental abuse
or neglect
parental
abuse or
neglect
true orphans
orphans
disability
disability
social reasons
social
reasons
Source: EU Daphné Programme (2004)
3
Background on CEE/CIS
• 1.3 million children in alternative care, out of which 50% in large scale residential care –
largest rate of alternative care placements in the world (?) – a result of the “pull-effect” of
the system
• Increasing separation of children from families in spite of efforts to ” reform ” the system
rate per 100,000 children aged 0-17
Children in residential care and in the care of foster parents or guardians in 9
selected countries
2500
2000
1500
1000
Residential care
500
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Foster or guardian care
2005
2006
2007
Total in formal care
2008
2009
2010
Source: TransMONEE 2011 Database, UNICEF Regional Office for CEECIS, Geneva
a. Children in residential care include children in infant homes, in orphanages, in boarding homes and schools for children without parental care or poor children,
disabled children in boarding schools and homes, family-type homes, SOS villages, etc. Children in punitive institutions are normally excluded. Definitions may
differ among countries.
b. Foster parents are obliged to take care of the child personally. Guardian has the same rights as foster parents, but he is obliged to take care of the child
personally and to replace fully the care of parents.
Children w. disability over-represented in care and
benefiting less from reforms
800,000
700,000
600,000
500,000
Total no of children in residential care (17 countries in
CEECIS)
400,000
Total no of children with disability in residential care (17
countries in CEECIS)
300,000
200,000
100,000
2004
2005
UNICEF Regional office CEE/CIS
2006
2007
2008
2009
5
2010
Children under 3 in residential care – most vulnerable
and not prioritized
800,000
700,000
600,000
500,000
Total no of children in residential care (in 15 countries in
CEECIS)
400,000
Total no of children under age 3 in residential care (in 15
countries in CEECIS)
300,000
200,000
100,000
2004
2005
2006
UNICEF Regional office CEE/CIS
2007
2008
2009
6
2010
UNICEF’s work in child protection in CEE/CIS
Cash transfers (including pensions, child benefits, poverty-targeted, seasonal)
Social
Transfers
Food transfers
Nutritional supplementation; Provision of ARVs
Public works
Birth registration
Programs to
access
services
User fee abolition
Health insurance
Exemptions, vouchers, subsidies
Specialized services to ensure equitable access for all
Support
and care
Family support services
Home-based care
Accessible Childcare services
REFORM OF
EXISTING
SERVICES
Minimum and equal pay legislation
Legislation
Employment guarantee schemes
Maternity and paternity leave
Removal of discriminatory legislation or policies affecting service provision/access or employment
Inheritance rights
UNICEF Social Protection Work
an overview
Show and Tell on Social Protection
Bonn, 2011
SNAPSHOT OF FINDINGS
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Access
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Barriers to access
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Impact
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Barriers to impact
Means tested poverty allieviation schemes
Albania
Ukraine
Kazkhstan
Ndime economie:
Guaranteed minimum income
scheme:
Targeted social assistance
Covers 33% of poorest and
67% of «non-poor»
Coverage: 85% of expenditure
on 20% poorest
86% of expenditures on 20%
poorest
Disqualifies landowners
Other benefits are incl. in
assessment of income
Other benefits are incl. in
assessment of income
Take into account no of
children in household
Employment certificate
required
Take into account no. of
children in houshold
Take into account no of
children in houseold
Categorical benefits schemes
Albania
Ukraine
Kazakhstan
Disability benefit
Birth grants
Birth grants
0-3 years monthly child care
allowance
0-1 year monthly child care
allowance
0-18 years monthly child care
alowance to single mothers
Child disability benefit
Disability benefit
Carer allowance for parents to
child with disability
Carer allowance for parents to
child with disability
Benefits for families with 4 or
more children
Access to social assistance of most vulnerable
• Countries have various social assistance benefits that children and parents can
access
• The infrastructure to administer them is extensive in all countries.
• … but, the social benefits system is difficult to access and requiring a great deal of
effort for little reward (as experienced by parents interviewed).
• … and a large proportion of the recipients are the non-poor.
• Categorical benefits are reaching higher proportions of the poorest families than
means-tested schemes (especially the birth grants, 0-3 benefits and disability
benefits)
ATTENTION!
• Social assistance benefits are most often targeted towards poverty alleviation and
can only indirectly prevent family separation, dysfunctionality and disintegration.
• Multiple vulnerability often does not qualify for multiple supports… families often
have to chose between benefits.
• Exclusion of certain groups limit impact: i.e. informal carers, landowners
Gatekeeping and family support services
Albania
Kazakhstan
Ukraine
Statutory services
CPUs
Guardianship
(courts)
Medical
commissions
Child Protection
Departments
Psychological
medical
commissions
Commissions of
Minors
Centers for social
services
Family and child
support services
Councelling
Referrals and
facilitating access to
benefits and
services (by CPUs)
Crisis shelters
Spec. Day care
Social work in
materity hospitals
Rehabilitation
services
Outreach social
work
Social work in
maternity hospitals
Mother and baby
units
Day care
Rehabilitation
Access to social services of most vulnerable
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Social services remain over-relying on residential care, even if there are pilot initiatives
for inclusive education, rehabilitation services, therapy and community based services
for children with disability and children from vulnerable families.
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Embryonic case management and weakness of social work and the administrative and
managerial infrastructure emerged as a key gap.
– There is a lack of understanding about what social work is, how it differs from social assistance and
what the functions and roles of a social worker are within the social protection system.
– Tools of social workers, such as emergency social assistance, access to housing to respond to family
crisis and acute risks of abandonment remain few.
– Social workers report facing “demeaning attitude towards their profession, and little appreciation”.
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Free legal aid exists in most countries, but is seldom used to challenge decisions made
by the system on accessibility to social protection and decisions on placement of
children in care
“People do not want to complain as it costs money. Besides, I think people
do not trust and do not believe in positive consequences of complaints”
Parent, Ukraine
Barriers to access 1: Lack of information about
services, benefits
“The mentality here is still very much related to money and not to different types of
social services that they could have or would support them. There needs to be more
public awareness of social services. This lack of understanding also impacts as a barrier
to the approaches and work of the professionals”.
Local government worker (after piloting professional social work for 18 months in one
locality on the lack of demand for social work support, Albania
“I have absolutely no clue where I can refer for support for my disabled child. What
other types of benefits I can additionally get”
Mother of disabled child, Albania
Barriers to access 2: Stigma and discrimination
against service users
“The state institutions close the doors to Roma or Egyptian families, or do not provide
the right information. When they finally manage to find the right office, the employer
says; well I am sorry but you missed the deadline and you can not apply anymore. So
those families do not have access because they lack information and do not know the
rules, procedures and deadlines to apply to social benefits.”
Frontline worker, Albania
“Institutions….that provide services or cash benefits are often aggressive and rude to
families with disabled children” – "They come and check often; they even check
children’s bed… it is so humiliating”
Parent, Kazakhstan
Barriers to access 3: Complexity to application
process
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Number and types of documents that have to be gathered by applicants, often at
some expense:
Application involves travel, stay overnight, (i.e. legacy of Soviet registration
system - families without registration are not eligible for benefits. Those who
have migrated to cities have to return to the place where they are registered.)
“They wrote a wrong letter in the name N., made a mistake. They said that I should
redo it, so I had to come again, It is really hard, we save money for travel, we arrive
and then we stay hungry all day. Just because of one wrong letter they force us to
rewrite a document. We do the correction, we come again next day but the specialist is
not there. Or, sometimes you give them a document, but they don’t know what to do
with it. Because the person who is responsible is not informed enough. We also have to
pay for all photocopies of these documents”.
Parent, Kazakhstan
Impact 1: In spite of weaknesses – impact can
be achieved
“I am very satisfied with the support I received especially at the beginning. When I gave
birth to my child they [social workers] helped me significantly. I did not have any money
at all. They bought diapers even. Later they helped me to gather all the necessary
documents to apply for social benefits. And now they also call me and ask whether any
further assistance is needed.”
Young mother with child under 1, Ukraine
“Social services help families, they help to assess situations in adequate manner, they
make families to feel more secure, they help to find solutions”.
Grandfather, guardian of his granddaughter, Ukraine
“If I did not receive this [service provided by NGO]…I would die or I would place have
to place my children into an orphanage”.
Formal kinship carer, Albania
Impact 2: Impact is not maximized for a number
of reasons
• Disintegration of social protection systems leads to limited impact to address
other risks than most acute poverty.
• Lack of supply: Incl. types of services, equitable distribution, cost of services,
quality of services and bureaucracy - limit the impact on vulnerable families of
existing social protection mechanisms and services.
• Lack of outreach: Social assistance and social services systems tend to be reactive
rather than pro-active. The services and benefits systems do not reach out to
actively seek and engage with their target groups. Parents and carers therefore
need to work really hard to access them.
• Lack of mechansims for creating synergies between policies and practical
integration of the system (i.e. sharing information systems on beneficiaries,
comprehensive assessments on needs and contexts to guide delivery of
comprehensive set of interventions, multi sectoral coordination etc.)
Impact 3 – some people are more likely to miss out… those who need it most…?
• Multiple factors seem to contribute to greater vulnerability: poor,
rural and disability – it requires an integrated response which is not
the current practice (services and benefits)
• Families with children with disabilities have least access to
appropriate, relevant and responsive services – being a group of
children who are over-represented in care in CEE/CIS this is of course
alarming
• Stumbling blocks to accessibility of services and benefits often
multiply if you have a disability and reforms have not changed this.
UNICEF Social Protection Work
an overview
Show and Tell on Social Protection
Bonn, 2011
CONCLUSION:
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Implications for system design to achieve better
impact
• Synergies, synergies and integration… of policies and systems for social assistance and social
serfices
• Outreach (both assistance and services)
recruitment of child protection cases (for benefits)
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Active
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Recognition of
multiple factors to vulnerability: Net better than brut when deciding on
entitlements
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Considerable investment at
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Focus on
birth and early years
disability
Opportunities for linkages
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Institutional – mandate for social assistance and child protection rests in many
countries with the same ministry, BUT… “old” assistance and services still occupy the
space and absorbs most budget
Organizational – On the ground, the responsibility for determining eligibility for social
assistance often rests with social welfare officers (social administartors etc.) BUT…
these officers end up spending most of their time on gatekeeping and administrative
duties related to social assistance, rather than case management for child protection.
Re-profiling and emergence of social workers, expansion of this profession also through
intro. Of modern social work university courses and re-training programmes, in parallel
with reforms in social assistance programmes is a great opportunity.
Objectives – As seen in CEE/CIS, gaps in social protection places burden on child
protection system. In changing focus from poverty alleviation (minimum level of
income) to minimum level of well-being there will be greater opportunities for
synergetic effect (both to achieve poverty reduction and greater child protection
outcomes). Should we also look North for some best practices in design of integrated SP
systems?
Target groups – Many households with children in need of protection will also be the
ones who are vulnerable to poverty – so there might be an automatic synergetic effect.
BUT only if poverty is the single cause, more complex cases (majority?) will need a
combination of supports.

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