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Legislation does not give new powers to “take away children” but improves the possibilities to support families



The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy strongly refutes allegations in the public sphere and social networks that legislative changes have been adopted to empower social workers to “take children after false signals”.

 

Amendments to child protection legislation adopted on 7 March 2019 aim at reflecting the elimination of all child care homes by 2021 as a form of care and improving child protection coordination as it is not a responsibility only to social workers. The provisions in the Child Protection Act in force for many years, which lay down the grounds for placing the child out of the family, has remained unchanged. They are not expanded. Placing a child out of the family can only be done by a court decision.

 

Suggestions that the authorities “will take children after false signals” are completely unfounded. We remind again that since 2003 the Child Protection Act stipulates that “a person who becomes aware that a child needs protection is obliged to immediately notify the Social Assistance Directorate, the State Agency for Child Protection and the Ministry of Interior”. The same obligation applies to any person who has become aware of that in the exercise of profession or activities, even if it is subject to professional secrecy. This is a rule that has been in force for 16 years.

 

The most disturbing of the disseminated allegations in social networks is not so much the lack of knowledge for the legislation in force for 20 years but the creation of a an environment of mistrust and fears towards “country”, “neighbours”, “teachers”, “doctors” and all the specialists who have dedicated their education and professional path to children and people in need.

 

These unjustified suggestions even led to the denial of the amendments, as of 7 May, in the Ordinance for Prevention and Reintegration, which is totally opposed to the issue of “bringing out children from their families”. The improved provisions seek only more efficient work of social workers, namely to allow children to remain in their family or if they are separated to return to live with their mothers and fathers.




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