Family Support and Alternative Care The Baltic Sea States Regional Report

Daja Wenke - Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat, Estonian Presidency 2014-2015, Republic of Estonia Ministry of Social Affairs

In preparation for the Expert Meeting on Alternative Care and Family Support in the Baltic Sea Region - held in Tallinn, Estonia in May 2015 - the Children’s Unit in cooperation with the Expert Group for Cooperation on Children at Risk conducted a mapping of family support and alternative care services in the Baltic Sea Region Member States. The objective of this mapping was to analyse the situation, assess the achievements since the 2005 Ministerial Forum and to identify relevant opportunities and challenges for the future.

This report documents, assesses, and analyses the state of children’s care in the region, with particular attention to the three objectives elected for the study: (1) Identifying effective interventions to prevent children from being separated from their families by highlighting examples of good practices and services that ‘work’; (2) Ensuring the transition from institutional care to family based care by building necessary support systems and securing the quality of care; and (3) Safeguarding children’s rights in alternative care by encouraging child participation and by preventing abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.

The accompanying background paper to this report provides a more detailed regional overview while this report presents the key findings of the study, conclusions, and general proposals for action. The report also includes the Tallinn Recommendations and Action Plan on Alternative Care and Family Support for the Baltic Sea Region 2015-2020, a set of recommendations and action plan endorsed by participants from the Baltic Sea Region Member States at the expert meeting on 6 May 2015, convened by the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.