ALTERNATIVE SERVICES - NEW SERVICE FOR EVERY CHILD
AbstractEvery child, for a full and harmonious development of his/her personality, has the right to grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. This principle is one of the main pillars of foster care service. InAlbania,familyfoster careservice is one of the new forms of social services as an indicator of taken responsibilities by the wellfare state to protect children including children with disabilities, who are deprived of parental care. Foster Care, or as it is called in Albanian Family Code "foster family", is a form of alternative care for children who are not provided with family care by their families.Throughout human history, there are constantly encountered phenomenas of neglect, abuse, intentional murder, sale and abandoning children mainly from ptheir parents.Foster care service was firstly a spontaneous response and then anoficial one, to support children who were vulnerable and deprived of family care. The models of providing foster care services are different from temporary service, the emergency ones, or long-term, and specialized ones. Currently, the Court is the only institution that takes decisions for child guardianship, for his accomodation in asocial care institution or in an alternative family. Basic international obligations in the field of protection of children deprived of parental care are setby the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Albania became party in the CRC on March 28 1992 and in its Optional Protocols "On the involvement of children in armed conflicts" and "On sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography"2 in 2007, these acts being in accordance with the constitutional provisions are now part of the Albanian legal system. In Albania foster care is a special service offered as protection measure for juvenile in the conditions when their parents are unable to exercise their parental responsibility. The reason for this can be the situations when both parents have died or are not known, are declared missing, lack the legal capacity to act, poverty and for any other reason accepted by the court. The goal is that the child be offered a family environment and conditions for the upbringing, such as physical care and emotional support. Such an alternative service was adopted in Albania as a new form of service to improve and increase the efficiency of the delivery of social services in addition to services in social care institutions which provide basic services for each juvenile. By reforming the Social Protection program the Albanian government had two priorities: Prevention of institutionalization of children and the provision of services in a family environment.This service is being extended throughout Albania creating the appropriate environment to treat the children in new forms of care as closed as possible to the family. The state is leading this service supporting it as an alternative to institutionalization to guaranty child upbringing.
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