Low-threshold services

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TDH Super Admin
TDH Super Admin's picture
Low-threshold services

How do you engage with children in street situation? What are the services you can offer immediately, that are readily accessible to all children? How do you set these services up and what training do you provide to your staff?

Dragana Vuckovic
Dragana Vuckovic's picture
Serbia, Belgrade: Center for Youth Integration

Center for Youth Integration, for last 10 years, is providing a service exclusively dedicated to street involved children - Drop in Shelter.

Drop in Shelter for street involved children is a service with the aim to improve life quality of the street involved children, first through satisfaction of their basic needs, and then by development of social competencies, by advancement of the family capacities and by help in the process of claiming their rights for services in the community.

The service is provided at two locations in Belgrade – in Drop in Shelter at Zvezdara (7a Krfska Street) and in Drop in Shelter at New Belgrade (145 Boulevard Arsenija Carnojevica).

The target group and the beneficiaries of services provided by Drop in Shelter are the children between 5 and 15 years of age who live or work on the streets of Belgrade and who are exposed to numerous risks. In this context, work on the street involves begging for money, selling small items, washing the car windshields etc.

The priority of Drop in Shelter is to provide the satisfaction of the beneficiaries’ basic needs, it also mediates the access to the other services and gives support in acquiring basic life skills as a step closer to their social inclusion. The beneficiaries are supplied with regular, nutritionally balanced meals, clean clothes and footwear adjusted to the weather conditions, with the support during their education and during involvement in the educational system, with the safe environment which nourishes proper psychosocial development of a child. The interventions conducted at Drop in Shelters are carried out according to the individual action plan which is defined independently for each beneficiary in cooperation with a child and child’s family. Apart from the stated activities, different creative and educational, cultural and sport activities organized outside of the Drop in Shelter’s premises are prepared and presented to the beneficiaries, all planed according to their needs and wishes.

Not only are the intervention and the Shelter related activities available to the beneficiaries and their families but also a team of fieldwork experts who regularly visit places where the children live, work or spend their time. Fieldwork, in this context, enables strengthening the relation of trust with the beneficiaries and their families.

The expert team of Drop in Shelter consists of a social worker, a team of special pedagogues, a nurse, a psychologist, a lawyer and a team of outreach workers. The expert team has a joint mission to provide support and protection to all beneficiaries of the shelter, respecting best interest of a child.

Working hours of Drop in Shelters are from 8 to 18 o’clock on working days and from 11 to 16 o’clock during weekends.

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