MA in Sustainable Development
Today, in Kosovo, are services provided for the children most in need sustainable? Do these services have stable and long-term funding? Did the decentralization of the Kosovo government strengthen or weaken the existing child protective environment? In an attempt to answer these questions, a review of available literature was completed, as well as direct interviews conducted with relevant stakeholders engaged in Kosovo’s child protection services at both the governmental and civil society levels. The main finding of my research is that vulnerable children in Kosovo, such as children without parental care, children with special needs, and child victims of domestic violence and trafficking, remain without adequate protective services to ensure their safety and resources and supports to put them on a positive trajectory toward future stability and optimal well-being. In 1999, as war with neighboring Serbia ended, the international community came to Kosovo’s aid. New ideas were introduced, and sometimes imposed, including the process of decentralization of governmental services, which increased in intensity when Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. Unfortunately, decentralization was implemented without adequate preparation of the local governments, and in what seemed to be a chaotic manner. Local governments were not prepared to receive the additional responsibilities that came with the decentralization process and did not prioritize child protection services due to a lack of qualified staff and a lack of finances. This left local and international civil society organizations to do what they could to fill the service gaps of vital child protection services. However, funding for many of these organizations is grant-based and is short to medium-term in length. At the same time, the decentralization process has actually weakened the system of child protection services that was in place. Currently there is no sustainable funding for child protection service providers at either the governmental level or through civil society organizations. If there is to be a future for these vulnerable children, Kosovo’s government and its society must urgently reconsider its priorities and commit resources for stable, continuous, comprehensive, and long-term support for these children most in need.
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Bylykbashi, Shpetim, "THE SUSTAINABILITY OF CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO" (2020). Capstone Collection. 3204.
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