For Immediate Release
Today, around 40 stakeholders came together to mark the successful completion of the Consolidated Action for Sustained Changes (CASC) program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Save the Children. The goal of the conference was to draw attention to the difficulties faced by vulnerable populations, and highlight how their needs can be addressed in local communities by developing stronger support system for vulnerable children in Azerbaijan.
Participants shared perspectives and identified improvements and continuing challenges in the sphere of child protection, with a focus on community-based support systems and the application of useful strategies in social work in Azerbaijan. The Deputy Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, the U.S. Ambassador, the USAID Mission Director in Azerbaijan, Heads of Divisions from Child Protection Department at the Ministry of Education, and the Director of United Aid for Azerbaijan all participated in discussions on the achievements of the project.
These discussions stressed the importance of having qualified social workers to provide day care, psycho-social support, and individual family counseling for families in need. Participants also noted the need to prepare young people with special needs for entering the job market, and to increase public awareness of the role of young people with disabilities in the social, cultural and economic life of Azerbaijan. Everyone agreed that there is an ongoing need to reduce the stigma that surrounds disability. The evaluation of “lessons learned” and success stories related first-hand helped build a picture of how this project helped improve Azerbaijan’s child protection system.
Active since 2004, the CASC project was implemented in close collaboration with the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, the Ministry of Education and UAFA. The program has so far provided targeted direct and indirect assistance to marginalized children in 12 Azerbaijani regions through the establishment of Children and Family Support Centers which were successfully handed over to the government of Azerbaijan in 2010. One of the goals of the program was to provide technical assistance in the capacity-building of state residential care institutions to independently replicate and administer quality community-based child protection services. The project touched the lives of approximately 30,000 children and 8,000 families in Azerbaijan.
Last updated: May 01, 2014