At a meeting yesterday, the National Council for Child Protection approved the project of the new National strategy for the child 2019 – 2030. “For Our Children” foundation actively participated in the process of drafting the strategy and the Executive director Mrs. Ivanka Shalapatova presented the position of the foundation as well as of the National network for children at the meeting.
The strategy was developed as a result of a wide consultative process and it reflects a great part of the expressed opinions and suggestions, children’s opinions were also considered. Mrs. Shalapatova and the representatives of the other non-governmental organizations and state institutions congratulated the State Agency for Child Protection for the cooperation with a wide range of interested parties and the demonstrated high level of culture used in dialogues and hearing different opinions.
The strategic document has a long-term vision (12-year term), which gives an opportunity for realizing key reforms for guaranteeing children’s rights. A starting point is the child’s rights and as well as the analysis of the former National Strategy for the child 2008 – 2018 and the challenges of its execution. An innovative element is the approach based on life cycle, in which key measures are planned in accordance with the stages of child development from the beginning of the pregnancy to the age of 18. This allows the government to intervene at the exact moment the family needs their help. The focus always remains on the child.
In her speech, Mrs. Shalapatova stressed the extreme importance of the elements that should be at the heart of all future reforms. These include introducing an integrated approach, enhancing cross-sectoral co-operation, better information connectivity, policy impact assessment, the professionalization of staff and the workforce, especially in the social sphere. She highlighted the differences in staffing and remuneration levels of professionals in education, social protection, and healthcare systems and highlighted the risks such differences pose to one of the objectives of the strategy – integration.
Mrs. Shalapatova described the lack of a clear vision for its financial provision as a challenge to the achievement of the Strategy’s objectives, which was supported by other members of the NPAA. It is necessary to take into account the possibilities and plans of the national investment budget, the planned EU funds as well as the contribution of the investments of socially responsible companies, individuals and international organizations, said Mrs. Shalapatova. In her view, it is necessary to lay down measures to stimulate the participation of the corporate sector in the implementation of the Child Strategy and to plan activities to measure the efficiency of measures in the social, health and educational system and to achieve high results in accordance to the national resource.
A Roadmap for Implementing the Strategy for the Child will be drafted and adopted and will describe the ways to achieve the objectives, the tracking indicators, the implementation deadlines, the responsible institutions, and the necessary financial resources. It is also planned to develop three-year programs to implement the strategy, which will allow the operational planning of the measures and activities.
We are happy that there is a strategic direction in the National Strategy for the Child 2019-2023 “All rights for all children”. We expect the political will to respect the rights of all children.