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AVSI Member Fundatia Organizes Successful Seminar on Public-Private Partnerships for Child Protection in Romania
Friday, 01 October 2004 00:00

On July 8-9, 2004, at the Continental Hotel in Bucharest, Romania, a public seminar entitled “Strategies for Europe: Reforms, Partnerships, Subsidiarity” was held. This seminar was hosted and organized by Fundatia, a Romanian NGO member of the network of AVSI International since 1996, in collaboration with two national federations working to support child protection in Romania, the Federation of Nongovernmental Organizations for Child Protection (FONPC) and ProChild, both of which Fundatia is a member.


The130 participants represented NGOs, public agencies, private institutions, donor agencies, the private sector and the press and convened in Bucharest from points around the country. The goal of the seminar was to shed light on the new legal framework concerning services provided by NGOs for children in distress; the new laws will take effect starting July 2005.


The theme of the first day’s discussion was public-private partnership and subsidiarity.

Debating this topic were W. Saur, from World Learning, USA; P. Poupard, the UNICEF representative for Romania and Moldova; I. Popa, the Counsellor of the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption; D.Barbu, professor of political science at the University of Bucharest; A. Carenzi, from the Center of Research on Social Services at the European Commission, Milan; and S. Carobene, representative from AVSI.


Following this first panel, examples of service delivery to disadvantaged children by private non-profit organizations in partnership with government bodies were presented by project directors and implementers. In the afternoon, lectures highlighted the concepts of the fundamental freedom of the person, including the freedom to associate and work for the common good, and the principle of subsidiarity and thus the relationship between society and the state. Subsequently, there were discussions of the different ways these principles are being put into practice in Romania and in other European countries.


The second day was centered around a presentation and open discussion, led by C. Porumb, World Learning, Romania, I. Popa and O. Rusu, a lawyer with the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society, on the newly issued Romanian Regulation for Child Protection. This piece of legislation is the result of three years of comprehensive work under the supervision of the National Authority. This forum provided an opportunity for the people working in the sector of child protection services to become familiar with and understand the new legal framework regulating their service provision.


In the afternoon, A. Vlad, Counsellor to the Ministry of Labor in Romania, participated in two workshops focused on the quality standards required for service provision to disadvantaged children and the legal requirements for official recognition of the social service providers.


The success of the seminar can be attributed to the high-level participants, including government leaders and representatives from NGOs with considerable experience working in the area of child protection, and to the useful orientation of the conference material which combined an analysis of the changing legal framework for operation as well as best practices for implementing child protection services.