A newly published report from Malta, conducted in 2018 by the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS), unveiled statistics on the work of the Youth Services of Agenzija Appogg National Support line 179, which only last year received 9,010 genuine calls.
The FSWS Chief Executive Officer reported that during 2018, due to a drastic increase in calls, it was necessary to hire a paid operator rather than rely on volunteers. Additionally, 148 young people who were initially hesitant to use the service were reached and helped. In total, Agenzija Apogg worked with 164 young people, and the waiting list for services decreased from 41 to 23 youth in 2018.
The report pointed out other positive statistics: the Child Protection Waiting list was reduced 80% since December 2018; CPS (Child Protection Services) conducted over 700 case discussions in collaboration with schools to support preventative work in the community, and with the support of the Looked after Children Service, 52 minors were reintegrated with their birth families. Likewise, the report highlighted that the line received 133 fostering inquiry calls, 50 children were placed in foster care, and 77 individuals benefited from foster care pre-service training.
The Ministry for Family, Children's Rights, and Social Solidary congratulated FSWS on their work in 2018 and called it the most successful year in terms of operations and service. The minister also expressed his support for its mental health awareness raising.
The Chairperson of FSWS emphasized the contribution and the role of the Agency in serving and protecting society, not just vulnerable groups. He also urged social workers to focus their practice closer to the community.