EU Funding Helps Falkirk Council Social Workers Protect Children in Europe
Falkirk Council’s social work children with a disability team has helped to secure European funding for the next three years which will help them to train children’s workers in Tajikistan.
At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s Housing and Social Care Committee this week (6 November), members heard how the three year funding package valued at 706,841 Euros (approx £560k), will allow a number of Tajikistani child care workers to visit Falkirk Council and see first hand modern child care techniques and how children’s services, including a fostering and early years service can be developed.
The package will allow learning by the overseas team and will not involve any cost to Falkirk Council or impact in anyway on current service provision.
Earlier this year, two members of the team travelled to Tajikistan to share their practice at an international conference with ministers and representatives from UNICEF and the European Union and also offered practical training to staff in the Kishti Project and in orphanages.
The team has also developed a series of practical help leaflets aimed at parents and carers of children on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder or who have a sensory issue. These have been used by individuals and organisations across the world including USA, Russia and Africa.
Councillor Gerry Goldie, Convener of Housing and Social Care said: “Over the past number of years, the number of children diagnosed with autism has increased and our social work service has had to respond to the subsequent increased demand on their services.
“We have been working locally to try and ensure a high quality of services which support parents and carers as well as the children affected by autism and are delighted that this work has come to international attention.
“Young children in Tajikistan who require additional support are cared for in baby homes, something which has not been the case here for many years. It has been recognised for some time that institutional care for young children adversely affects their development and with our assistance, staff in Tajikistan are now able to develop care which is far more appropriate, including services to children with a disability, and a fostering service, and to expand the skills of their staff. Staff at the Kishti Centre are very positive about the assistance from Falkirk, and excited about developing their practice.
“The team are keen to share what they have learned and the knowledge that they have accumulated to date as far as possible and so were pleased to be able to support this programme that will see eastern European workers visiting Falkirk and experiencing first hand some of the work we do both in the social work service and with our partner agencies.”
It is expected that the first study tour will take place at Easter 2013. It is hoped that the experiences learned by the visiting child care workers will allow them to return and help to establish their own service which will better suits the needs of children who until now have only experienced institutional care.
- Falkirk Council ( 08/11/2012 )