Is the best interest of the abandoned children being respected in Kosovo?

Source: Kosovo Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection (KOMF)

In continuing the efforts to advance the rights of the child, during the past six months, the Coalition of NGOs for Child Protection was engaged in finalizing the analysis of
the situation of abandoned children in Kosovo aged 0-3 years.

KOMF soon will come up with a concrete publication which will provide the Kosovar society a clear situation on protection of abandoned children.

This analysis comes as a result of the need to identify the real situation of children under the care of mandated institutions, identification of the reasons for the long placement
of abandoned children in hospitals and residential care centers, as well as identification of the fact if the institutions are responding to the real needs and best interest
of the child. Throughout the drafting process of this analysis the views of mandated institutions that provide protection for abandoned children in Kosovo were taken
into account.

This analysis is based on three main pillars, such as: legislation, functioning of the system and health and psychosocial situation of children during their stay in that alternative forms of protection. This analysis will make Kosovo society aware with the reality which has its benefits but also disadvantages that come as a result of: lack of coordination and interagency cooperation; overload and big number of cases in the Centres for Social Work and Courts; lack of multidisciplinary trainings and institutional qualifications; uncertainty about procedures and understanding
of the law; neglect of the legal deadlines; often professional exhaustion; uncompleted documentation of cases, the small number of foster families in Kosovo as a result of the lack of good municipal planning, adoption of children with disabilities.

These and many other facts that are presented in this analysis reveal why abandoned children stay for longer and unnecessary periods in the residential care or foster families. Kosovo fortunately has no orphanages for children, while in the other hand the foster care is being developed as one of the best alternative forms of child protection.

Given this possibility that not every country in the region has, KOMF will advocate until the state provides maximum quality of services and promotes alternative forms of protection to protect the abandoned children based on the best interest of the child.