2010 start of national campaign against violence towards children
Marina Gordeeva the chair of the board of the Children’s Aid Foundation, which aims to help children in difficulty, made the above announcement at a national conference on applied sociology.
The theme of the conference was ‘the Russian system of child protection: key problems, experience, and perspectives’. On 15 September, the foundation announced a new competition on the subject of ‘the prevention of cruelty to and violence against children’. To date it has funded 67 regional programmes at a cost of 330 million roubles and 193 projects at a cost of 120 million roubles. In doing so the foundation has three main priority goals: preventing family distress and children being deprived of parental care, support for families with children suffering from disabilities, and social rehabilitation of minors who have committed crimes.
Ms Gordeeva pointed out that it was proposed to open 70 district social service centres and 50 mobile aid teams to help in rural areas. The Ministry of Education and Science is preparing a Bill for introduction in 2010 obliging candidates for the fostering role to undergo psychological diagnostic tests and training with the aim of avoiding orphans experiencing a second rejection or cruel treatment. These procedures are currently a function of the guardianship agencies but are not compulsory. The ministry is currently researching which organisations amongst the constituent entities of the Russian Federation would be able to carry out the function. One ministry expert thinks that the institutions that deal with children in need of psychological or socio-medical help might be suitable. There are 700 such institutions. She said that it was not only the training of potential foster parents that was important but also the work of the services that mentor foster families; but there was currently no legal basis for the latter. The ministry was preparing legislation to reinforce the authority of the professional services that work with foster families. She added that the ministry would be studying the experience of the regions and of the NGOs.