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NGOs push for tougher standards

Cambodian orphans play together as they wait for adoption at Kien Klaing orphanage center in Phnom Penh in 2000. Philippe Lopez/AFP.
Cambodian orphans play together as they wait for adoption at Kien Klaing orphanage center in Phnom Penh in 2000. Philippe Lopez/AFP.

NGOs push for tougher standards

A group of NGOs have launched an advisory body to devise minimum standards for social workers in a bid to decrease the number of children in government institutions.

Headed by Hagar International and Save the Children, the group will consult with government and non-government experts to finalise guidelines by April 2018.

“Our focus is on increasing the number of children in the right family environment,” said Hagar project manager Sandra Veloso.

“We know from concrete research that children have a better chance at life if kept in a loving family environment institutions are not good for their personal growth and social development.”

The advisory group is funded under a broader $6 million project by USAID. At present, there is one social worker for every 6,646 children in the Kingdom, and an estimated 49,000 children are living in residential care.

Ministry of Social Affairs secretary of state Nim Thoth yesterday noted a lack of government resources to deal with the issue, saying, “We need help from you, but we must [also] help ourselves.”

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