FHI 360 Moldova

Moldovan Government Initiates First Social Contract with a CSO

More than 50 phone calls were placed in just a few weeks since the launch of the Moldova National Child Helpline 116111. Children and parents dialed the toll free number, available from any fixed or mobile network, and reported cases of domestic violence, behavioral problems in school-aged children, cases of child homelessness, and conflicts with peers and parents. There are seven psychological consultants standing by on the other end of the phone providing services free of charge as the result of an agreement signed between the International Center for Women’s Rights Protection and Promotion Center “La Strada” (International Center “La Strada”) and the Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family. This helpline is the first time a public institution has delegated the provision of a social service to a civil society organization (CSO) in the Republic of Moldova.
 
“...Children…parents, caregivers or anyone who would seek help when a child needs assistance will benefit from the services of the Child Helpline 116111. Consultants will provide psychological counselling to at-risk children, as well as to parents and caretakers in difficult situations and requiring professional support and assistance,” said Daniela Misail-Nichitin, head of the International Center “La Strada”.  
 
The 24/7 phone service will provide children an opportunity to talk about the issues directly affecting them.  The 116111 number is a pan-European number and is used for children’s helpline services in all European Union member states. 
 
Valentina Buliga, the Minister of Labor, Social Protection and Family, stated during a press conference that: “The state needs partnerships with civil society to successfully prevent and combat violence and various forms of child abuse.” The Minister expressed her confidence that this first experience in subcontracting a non-state social services provider will be a positive one, paving the way for long-lasting collaboration with the non-governmental sector. According to the contract, the International Center ‘’La Strada” will provide the Child Helpline service from June 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016. 
 
Contracting social services from CSOs is possible as a result of the adoption of the Law on Social Services in 2011 and the Law on Accreditation in 2012. Both laws serve as important milestones for civil society development in Moldova, allowing non-state actors, including CSOs, to be contracted to provide social services.  Moreover, upon completion of the ongoing public administration reform, local governments will also be able to contract out some services.  
 
Beginning in 2010, FHI 360 in partnership with the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) and other key actors, with support from USAID, worked to assess and improve the CSO regulatory environment governing CSOs’ engagement in public service provision. FHI 360 provided best practices and lessons learned on the implementation of social contracting models in Europe and NIS countries (Ukraine, Armenia, and Kazakhstan). 
 
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