Children's Rights and Social Services


Date of publication:  11 Mar 2016 Authors:  Ana Isabel Fernandes Guerreiro and Vanessa Sedletzki Publisher:  Council of Europe Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

In this publication the Council of Europe explores the critical role played by social services in the delivery and protection of children's rights. Elements of social care are child and family friendly across all Council of Europe member states. Nevertheless, this report represents the opportunity to identify areas of social services where strengthening is required. Above all the implementation of existing legislation, standards and measures is necessary to close the gaps currently existent between theory and practice. Social services are accessed by children and their families on an almost daily basis in some form or another (e.g. through schooling, through health care or for more specific needs such as access to justice). As such, social service providers are often a first point of contact with children and therefore occupy optimal positions from which to identify right's abuses and to refer children onto other services appropriately. This report looks at the overarching implementation measures guiding social services and looks at how the fundamental principles guiding social work with children are put into practice. For example, what factors go towards determining the best interests of the child in practice? In the third part of this report questions are also raised about how to ensure that social workers themselves are given the best possible tools in order to deliver these much needed services. What is the right level of training social workers need in order to be effective in their roles and how should their professional competency be measured?  

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European Union

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