Recently workers of Caritas Kyiv participated in a round table entitled: Working with Families in Difficult Situations: Support and Services on a Community Level.
For many years Caritas Kyiv has worked to help families in crisis. As a result of their experience they are developing recommendations for state run children’s social services on how to improve the system of providing assistance to the less fortunate and how to provide comprehensive social, financial and psychological assistance to the most vulnerable families.
The round table was organized by the project Strengthening Families operated by the charitable organization SOS Children’s Town. Representatives from governmental centres for social and psychological rehabilitation for children and youth in Kyiv, the Oles’ Dovhyy and Kateryna Horina Foundation, nationwide initiatives and from the legal clinic at the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Academy participated in the event.
During the round table participants discussed how to help families in crisis, including those who are experiencing: substandard living conditions, loss of work, inability of children to obtain an education or medical treatment, poor nutrition, lack of clothing, etc. In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of families living under the poverty level and this makes it more difficult for the children in these families to live a dignified childhood.
The presentations made by various organizations emphasized the importance of the community’s and charitable organizations’ responsibility to support these families.
“When Ukraine gained independence there was a notable decline in the quality of life of children, especially those living in orphanages. They lacked the most fundamental items including furniture, clothing, footwear, games, personal hygiene items, even food. But in fairly short order, private citizens and people from across the world, the government and charitable foundations helped to change this situation.
Now we see a different problem—families where parents are unemployed are living in even worse conditions than those previously seen in orphanages. This is particularly true in rural areas. For this reason it is crucial that we support and assist, as odd as this may sound, children that live in families which often find themselves in difficult situations,” commented Fr. Roman Syrotych Director of Caritas Kyiv, when summarizing the round table.