“I got a foster family late – but not too late!” - Warsaw Roundtable 2016
Katarzyna Napiórkowska, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, and Mr. Bartosz Marczuk, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy.
The Expert Group for Children at Risk has over the years focused on alternative care and family support. In 2015 the EGCC developed the Tallinn Recommendations and Action Plan on Alternative Care and Family Support for the Baltic Sea Region.
On April 20 2016, the Polish Presidency hosted the Warsaw Roundtable on Deinstitutionalisation and Foster Care. There members of the Expert Group and additional experts from Poland discussed the member states’ progress since the Tallinn Recommendations. The meeting was opened by Mr Bartosz Marczuk, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, who presented the values, policies and priority of the new Polish government to strengthen the family and position of children.
The experts exchanged best practices in achieving deinstitutionalization, ensuring quality of child care facilities through monitoring and follow-up, and ensuring children’s views are heard. The governments and implementing agencies have made progress by adopting a strategic approach to continuing deinstitutionalization and encouraging foster care. Legal and policy reforms combined with additional resources for capacity building and early intervention are also helping families be better able to care for children, reducing the need for alternative care.
The participants in the Warsaw Roundtable decided:
- To follow-up the Tallinn Recommendations on Alternative Care and Family Support.
- To take due note of the recent developments as described in the Warsaw Roundtable on deinstitutionalisation and foster care.
- To encourage investment in an appropriate set of services for families who bring up children, ensure that families get easy accessible and more and better support, to support the professionalization of foster care through sound financing and professional training, to ensure that institutions is a solution only in exceptional situations and support the need for preparing foster children who are leaving foster care to an independent adult life. In addition, it is important to improve the coordination and cooperation between the actors involved in alternative care in order to reduce the tendency for each actor and entity to keep to themselves.
To find out more more, please see the Warsaw Roundtable on Deinstitutionalisation and Foster Care report.