Maternal Center Social Service – An Alternative for Preventing Mother-Child Separation

The safety of children alongside their mothers is a priority for the Municipality of Chișinău. Building on this premise, the municipality, with the support of UNICEF Moldova, will launch the social service “Maternal Placement Center for Mother-Child Couples with Children Older Than 6 Years.”

Angela Cutasevici, Deputy Mayor of the Capital responsible for social affairs, stated that the purpose of establishing this service is to prevent child abandonment by providing a supportive environment for mother-child couples facing difficulties. The service aims to develop parental skills in mothers, as well as mediate relationships with the extended family for the purpose of (re)integration into the family environment.

“The ‘Maternal Placement Center for Mother-Child Couples’ will be opened in the city of Chișinău in May. This service will accommodate mother-child couples to provide support and protection for mothers in difficult situations, such as victims of violence, young mothers, and other beneficiaries who will be assisted by center staff to overcome this crisis. The goal of the service is to establish, maintain, and strengthen the family bonds between women and their children. The age of the children will be over 6 years, up until adulthood. The center will have a capacity of hosting 7 mother-child couples, which means 7 adults and 13 children. This will be the accommodation capacity of the center. The center will operate 24/7, and the placement will initially be for six months, with the possibility of extension if needed. During these six months, the mothers and children will have access to all the necessary services for community integration. If the child is of school age, they will attend school, and the mother will be assisted and supported in finding employment. It will be a regular family life, but with the added assistance and accommodation in safe spaces,” said Cutasevici.

Once admitted to this center, beneficiaries will receive all the necessary support to facilitate their reintegration into their families.

“The intervention will be immediate, depending on the specific needs of each case, whether it is psychological counseling, various medical care, accommodation and food support, or other necessary services for families in risky situations, families fleeing from crises. Here, they will receive all the necessary support. Of course, our main objective is to reintegrate the family, meaning the mother-child couple, into their own family; the mother should have a job, and the children should be integrated into the community, attending kindergarten or school,” added Cutasevici.

Beneficiaries can be referred to the “Maternal Placement Center for Mother-Child Couples with Children Older Than 6 Years” by the police or the General Directorate for the Protection of Children’s Rights, and the center will be secured to ensure the safety of the participants.

“We will certainly consider each case comprehensively, and the necessary actions will be taken for each participant in crisis situations. The center will be secure and not easily accessible to the general public, but only through specific referral structures. This is primarily important to ensure the safety of the accusers, so that they do not know the whereabouts of the person fleeing from abuse,” explained Cutasevici.

The social service “Maternal Placement Center for Mother-Child Couples over the age of 6” provides the following services, according to the specific needs of the children and the mother-child couple:

  • Temporary placement for mother-child couples in situations of risk.
  • Provision of food for the mother-child couple.
  • Hygiene and medical care.
  • Individual and group educational activities.
  • Recreational and socialization activities.
  • Psychological counseling.
  • Life skills training activities.
  • Strengthening parental capacities of the parents.

Admission to the service:

Admission to the Service is based on the decision of the Child Rights Protection Directorate of the sector, or on an emergency basis. The mother-child couple is admitted to the Maternal Service without discrimination, regardless of race, color, political opinion, nationality, ethnic or social background, or marital status. Upon admission to the Maternal Service, the mother signs with the administration of the Maternal Center:

  1. Individualized service plan.
  2. Primary case registration form.
  3. Agreement between the social worker and the beneficiary.
  4. Rules of behavior within the Maternal Service.

In case of necessity, mothers or children in difficulty can call 112, 022-922-555, or 067-100-144. The phone lines are available 24/7.

These actions are carried out by the Municipality of Chișinău and UNICEF Moldova within the memorandum of understanding between the Municipality of Chișinău and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) regarding the provision of technical assistance for the realization of children’s and adolescents’ rights in the municipality of Chișinău.

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