April 29, 2024

United for children: International summit fosters child welfare reform in Ukraine

On April 26, 2024, in Kyiv, an international dialogue took place as part of the Ministerial Social Policy Summit, marking a significant milestone in Ukraine's journey towards comprehensive child welfare reform.

First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, emphasized that this reform is not just another policy change but a foundational step towards building a better Ukrainian society. "This reform is about all of us. Everything related to children has always been important for Ukraine, and since the invasion, it has become strategic. Not just because children are our future, but because they are our present," stated Olena Zelenska.

Iryna Tulyakova, head of the Coordination Center for Family Education and Child Care Development, presented a strategic roadmap outlining the primary stages, timelines, and priorities for the successful implementation of the reform. This strategic plan aims to ensure that all children in Ukraine are raised in safe family environments supported by caring adults and communities equipped with necessary social services.

During the summit, EU Ambassador Katarina Mathernova, and Head of UNICEF in Ukraine, represented by Munir Mamedzade, signed a significant agreement between the European Union and UNICEF, delivering €12 million to bolster the better care reform, providing financial support, resources to families, and expert guidance to reinforce childcare systems and uphold every child's right to grow up in a loving family environment in Ukraine.

The event was chaired by Ukraine's Minister of Social Policy, Oksana Zholnovych, and attended by ministers and deputies from EU member states, the United Kingdom, and the United States, along with representatives from the Presidential Office, regional administrations, and international financial organizations. Notable contributions came from various foundations and organizations, such as the Olena Zelenska Foundation, SOS Children's Villages, Voices of Children, and Lumos, all actively supporting the implementation of the reform.

Holding such international dialogues reaffirms Ukraine's and its allies commitment to protecting the rights and interests of children.