Supporting the Social Service Workforce on the Frontlines of the Southeastern Europe Refugee Crisis

Date of webinar: 
26 Jun 2018
Start and finish time of webinar: 
3pm CET; 9am EDT Washington DC
Stephanie Delaney, Social worker and service manager
Aleksandar Mitanoski, Social worker from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Dr. Natia Partskhaladze, Senior Technical Advisor at the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
Global Social Service Workforce Alliance

Close to 1 million migrants and refugees fleeing war, violence and poverty have been displaced throughout Western Europe. To address the evolving needs of this vulnerable population, Terre des Hommes developed several initiatives to increase capacity and ability of frontline social service workers to address child protection issues and other immediate needs of children and families.

Global Social Service Workforce Alliance will host a webinar to review some of the initiatives developed to improve capacities of the frontline social service workers in supporting refugees and migrants to address child protection issues. The discussion will also touch upon common challenges of the social work response during the refugee and migrant crisis and ways of addressing them.

Speakers will discuss the work of NGO Terre des Hommes and the Child Protection Hub for South East Europe in supporting frontline social service workers on how to address the needs of the most vulnerable children in development and emergency contexts. TheChild Protection Hub for South East Europe is an initiative of Terre des Hommes and other NGOs within the region that was developed to create a regional network of professionals for peer-to peer support and exchange of experience on child protection-related issues. Building on this platform, and support of the UNICEF Regional Office in Geneva, in 2015 Terre des Hommes developed an emergency capacity building program, to support frontline social service workers working with refugees and migrants in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), Serbia, Croatia and Hungary, while also creating a small cadre of trainers who can continue providing support to their peers and opportunities for online exchanges.

In each targeted country in Southeast Europe, Terre des Hommes worked in cooperation with local partners like the International Open Gate La Strada, a Macedonian NGO, supporting refugees and migrants through this network. Speakers from both Terre des Hommes and International Open Gate La Strada will provide an overview of the program and share personal experiences.

The webinar will attempt to address the following key questions:

  • What capacities are required of national systems and the social service workforce to adequately address the needs of the refugees and migrants?
  • What role can the NGO sector play in supporting workforce needs?
  • What are the sustainability issues of surge support provided during the emergency response and how can capacity development be more sustainable?

Click here to register for the webinar.


Stephanie Delaney is a social worker (MSW) and has a master’s degree in International Child Welfare.  Originally from the UK, for the last 15 years Stephanie has worked in South East Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Her particular interest is working with frontline staff. She has worked for a number of agencies, and during the Southeast Europe / Balkans refugee and migration crisis, she supported a workforce capacity initiative carried out by Terre des Hommes Lausanne and the UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.

Aleksandar Mitanoski is a social worker from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Over seven years he worked on the development, planning and implementation of various projects at the national and international levels, focused on children, Roma, youth, refugees, etc. Since 2015 Aleksandar has been working as a social worker of the International Open Gate La Strada in the refugee camp Tabanovce, managing mobile teams and directly providing services to refugees and migrants. Currently he is completing a master’s degree in Management of Strategic Communications and Public Relations at Institute of Communication Studies in Skopje.


Dr. Natia Partskhaladze is the Senior Technical Advisor at the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance. In this role, she provides technical leadership and guidance on effective approaches of strengthening the social service workforce and manages a portfolio of partnerships, initiatives and special activities. Prior to joining the Alliance, she has had 15 years of experience in the field of child protection and social service system strengthening, both at the policy and programming level.

Language(s) of the materials: 

This project is funded by: