You are here

Focusing on Care Reform and the Social Service Workforce During Ukraine Recovery Conference

Alena Sherman's picture

Vice-President for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica's gives speech at Ukraine Recovery Conference Side EventFrom 30th June to 7th July, Alliance director, Hugh Salmon, was privileged to be able to join other national and international colleagues in London in supporting a side event, titled "Care Reform: a Ukraine Reconstruction Priority", with a senior delegation from the government of Ukraine, led by the Minister of Social Policy, Oksana Zholnovych. The focus of the event—hosted by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)—was on good practice and innovative approaches to care system reform, and the development of community-based services to support children and families, including children and adults with disabilities and their families, so as to prevent the need for residential care. The conference was followed by a Ukrainian government study visit to London, hosted by FCDO, to meet central and local government colleagues, and to see a range of services for children and families. Other organisations involved in supporting the side event and study visit included UNICEF, Maestral International, Hope and Homes for Children and Lumos. The programme of visits and meetings included meetings with ministerial counterparts, the body responsible for inspecting social services (OFSTED), leading children’s NGOs and two London local authorities.  A particular highlight was the session on the role of the social service workforce, hosted by the NGO Coram, which included presentations from the two Chief Social Workers for England. Valuable insights were also shared by young people with lived experience on the UK care system. 

The side event and study visit were organised to immediately follow the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC), co-hosted by the UK Government and the Government of Ukraine, a high-level event dedicated to supporting Ukraine's recovery, which took place from 21– 22 June, also in London. Ahead of the conference, the Alliance worked with a coalition of NGOs and private sector organisations to develop joint recommendations on the reform of Ukraine’s child protection and care system, which included:

  • Asking the Government of Ukraine to develop a national care reform strategy that prioritizes the prevention of family separation through direct financial assistance to families, reform of the family court system in line with international child rights frameworks, the development of support services to help children live well in families, and a strong social service workforce to deliver these services.
  • Asking Ukraine's international partners to prioritise funding to support families to care for their own children, to develop inclusive, family and community-based care services, and to strengthen the social service workforce required to deliver these services.

Read the key recommendations on the reform of Ukraine’s child protection and care system.

Photo: European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica's gives speech at Ukraine Recovery Conference Side Event

Ukraine Care Reform