Meeting Needs in Challenging Circumstances [ChildHub Research]

The ability of social care workers operating in NGOs in Serbia to meet the needs of children on the move has been challenged by the implementation of new policies and changes in law over the last few months: these are the findings of the research conducted by Terre des Hommes and released by Child Protection Hub for South East Europe.

The research is mainly based on contributions provided by social workers from Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre (NSHC), an association with whom Terre des Hommes has a partnership in order to deliver essential support services to children on the move in Serbia:

“These findings represent the views of those who encounter refugees and migrants face-to-face and who witness, as part of their daily working lives, the effects of policy change on their target beneficiaries”.

According to the research, the implementation of changed law and policy:

  • has contributed to anxiety within the refugee and migrant community such that more pressures on  psychosocial service has been placed
  • has made more challenging the distribution of accurate information
  • has reduced social workers capacity to deliver consistent appropriate service
  • has created harsher conditions at the camps which have increased the amount of pressure on frontline/ social workers

To this end, Terre des Hommes proposes a series of potential “next steps” that might improve the situation and invites the responsible for the organization and coordination of different services for children on the move to take them into account.

Overall, the research highlights that “There is an urgent need for the international community to develop holistic, comprehensive and applicable practical strategies to cope with the on-going refugee and migrant crisis. Until this need is met, the refugees and migrants and the social workers there to support them will continue to suffer the effects of ill-defined and unstable policies.”

You can find the research on

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