Inefficiency of Centers for social work has ruined a child’s lifeInefficiency of Centers for social work has ruined a child’s life.A nine year old child has lived in fear and agony for an entire year; it has been molested and abused by its parent because the Centers for social work in this country were not able to determine who has jurisdiction in resolving this case. Namely, in the course of this year the Children’s Embassy Megjashi received a notice from an adult man regarding the condition of the nine year old child whose parents have been divorced for a longer time. The parent who has no custody hasn’t been interested to make contacts with his own child. In 2010 for the first time the parent wished to see the child and with a mutual agreement between the parents, the child was supposed to spend a week with his other parent. After the completion of this week, the parent who is not a legal guardian has decided to keep the child with him. Although he wasn’t capable to take care of the child due to his history of asocial, promiscuous behavior and being a long-time addict of opiates, he was taking care for the child for an entire year during which time the child was confined alone and hungry at his home and didn’t attend school. The child has lived in constant fear and has been neglected and molested. The parent and his relatives who had the right to take care of the child and its upbringing and to protect it, have contacted the Centers for social work and the Secretary for internal affairs in order to take the child away and look after it, but their reaction and demands were not taken seriously.The school which the child attended has made efforts to conduct a home visit in order to determine the reason for the child’s absence, but the effort was futile. Although the Centers have been informed that the child is living with a batterer, they have left it unprotected for a whole year not being able to determine who has the authority to take measures in this case. Children's Embassy Megjashi has filed a written appeal to the Centres for Social Work in Gevgelija, Strumica and Skopje, then to the Ombudsman, to the Social inspection at the Ministry for labour and social policy and the State Education Inspectorate. The only answer was received from CSW Gevgelija in which it was stated that they have sent a request to CSW Strumica and CSW Skopje but no response was received. Furthermore, they have been informed about the situation but were unable to take measures without police presence since a violent person was in question.The Gevgelija Police has informed the Children’s Embassy that they cannot react until they receive a resolution from CSW.During the course of this month, the Centre from Gevgelija has informed the Embassy that the child has been taken away from the batterer and given to the parent who has custody over the child.The inefficiency of the state institutions has questioned the optimal growth and development of the child. The basic children’s rights of education and health protection have been violated. The child is traumatized, scared of the violence and the neglect to which it has been exposed for an entire year. The Children’s Embassy “Megjashi” has come to a conclusion that the Centers for social work are unable to determine whether they do or do not have authority which causes inefficiency in their work and it also prolongs the resolution of cases where fast reaction is needed in order to protect the children.
Translated by: Dijana Janevska