Child welfare and Serbia on the path towards European integration

Authored by: Nevenka Žegarac

The Routledge Handbook of Global Child Welfare

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138942752
eBook ISBN: 9781315672960
Adobe ISBN: 9781317374749


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This paper aims to shed light on the characteristics of the legal framework, existing structures and mandates of child welfare and child protection services and system resources in Serbia. The author’s understanding of the child welfare system and policy is that they are a sub-category of social policy, and as such, can be seen as a policy field or domain, a policy instrument or as a criterion by which all social policies can be assessed as to their consequences for child and family well-being. Moreover, the analysis looked at the extent to which they function in a consistent, appropriate and effective way for children. This paper is organized in such a way as to look for answers to the following questions:

What is the nature and scope of the contemporary national child welfare and protection system in Serbia?

Which child welfare system components exist and how do they function, both normatively and in practice (Wulczyn et al., 2010)?

Can there be talk of the child welfare system in Serbia as a specific sum of distinctive but inter twined ‘policies, procedures, legal and institutional arrangements necessary to advance the welfare of children and young people, and safeguard them from harm’ (Harris & White, 2013, p. 83)?

What are the strengths, gaps and priorities for future systems development in Serbia?

And, finally, what are the implications of the findings on the system’s development?

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