Even though the Cross-Government review and action plan were approved by the Supreme Court of Justice and the National Council for Children early 2020, due to the pandemic and national sanitary emergency declared in Paraguay (affecting the protection system severely), the government was not able to implement the evidence-based cross-agency plan to optimize the system, with the immediate, short and long term measures as a solution to root problems identified.
However, in spite of not achieving the estimated funding for the cross-agency plan of 2019, significant progress was made, such as: a new law incorporating the most advanced international legislation on the right of children to family, reducing timeframe of proceedings among others; also, a cross-agency procedures manual for case management was developed with the Gov/legal agencies (in final stages of review, as was proposed in 2019), among others.
In the past few years of cross-agency efforts, we (as PPF, together with others) have supported the Government as cross-agency facilitators of strategic progress optimizing the child protection system. This included facilitating (early this year) a visit of authorities from our Gov institutions (Supreme Court of Justice, Ministry of Public Prosecution, Ministry of Public Defense and Ministry for Children) to learn from the UK system, with support of ROLE UK of the UK Gov (see report here)
Following this, Paraguay's Supreme Court Justice, General Defender and Minister for Children agreed together to conduct a inter-institutional forum to diagnose the current situation of the system, updating the review of 2019, detail how the family-based child protection process should be according to law, and to agree on a cross-agency plan. This intensive 3-day work event was held with key actors from the system, including representatives of the newly elected government.