Cooperation

In Lithuania

In order to ensure child rights protection, the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service (hereinafter referred to as the Service) cooperates with the municipal administrations, their Social Assistance Divisions, inter-institutional cooperation coordinators and Social Service Institutions. The specialists of the territorial divisions of the Service, in response to the report about the potential child rights violation, assess the level of threat to the child and after having determined the first or the second level of threat to the child apply to the municipal administration with a request to appoint a Case Manager.

Close cooperation between the Service and the Case Manager is taking place during the process of case management in order to ensure the child rights: the specialists of the territorial divisions of the Service take part in the meetings of the case management, issue opinions on the participation of a child in the meeting or present the child‘s opinion if the child is absent from the meeting. The Case Manager may at any time during the case management process apply to the territorial division of the Service for methodological assistance.

The Service also actively cooperates with the law enforcement authorities, including police. On 2 July 2018 the Service has entered into and signed the cooperation contract with the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior which is aimed at smooth and operative work between these two institutions in order to ensure the protection of the rights of the child 24 hours a day. It has been agreed that the Service shall provide the Police Department with the special telephone numbers of the territorial divisions of the Service to be used by police 24 hours a day to contact the specialists of the Service in the territorial divisions of the Service and to inform on the potential child rights violations.

The agreement between the General Prosecutor Office, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, police, the Service and the Institution of the Ombudsman for the Protection of the Rights of the Child intended for ensuring as efficiently as possible the child rights and protecting them in various critical situations has been signed on 28 June 2018.

Each of the institutions listed above has assumed on the basis of this document very specific, clearly described obligations and responsibilities concerning the actions, procedures, mutual informing that must be carried out within the time set and other cooperation in various situations when the state has to take immediate care of the rights and safety of a particular child

In the context of its activities involving foster care (guardianship) of children, adoption organizing and coordination of foster care (guardianship) surveillance, the Service cooperates with the municipal administrations and their branches that are responsible for organizing foster care (guardianship) of a child, municipality-based foster care centres and the non-governmental organizations that carry out the search for the future foster parents (guardians) of a child, organises training of the persons who seek to become foster parents (guardians), adoptive parents of a child or founders or participants of a household, carers on call according to a training and consultancy programme for foster parents (guardians), carers on call, adoptive parents, the staff members of the Community Foster Home (GIMK programme) and provide them with the necessary assistance in cases of foster care (guardianship) or adoption of a child.

The State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service carries out the implementation of national and international adoption and co-operates with municipalities and Guardianship centres relating preparation of adoptive parents and support services for them. The State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service collect data about children eligible for adoption and according to the child best interest,  needs  and  statutory procedure select the family to the child.   The State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service constantly keeps counseling to the accredited in Lithuania international adoption agencies regarding the adoption of children by special criteria’s. 

When dealing with the issues concerning foster care (guardianship), adoption of a child, the activities of carers of call, foster care centres the Service actively cooperates with the GIMK Association that unites the individuals certificated by the Service and with other non-governmental organisations that operate in the field of child rights protection, especially with the organisations that unite other non-governmental organisations.

The Service also cooperates with the non-governmental organisations providing emotional assistance, professional telephone counseling for parents, adults and children (“Child line“, “Youth line“, “Parent line“, etc.).

 

International Cooperation

State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour ensures the compliance with the provisions of Lithuanian legislation and international treaties to which the Republic of Lithuania is a contracting party, which regulate adoption.

Service collects, analyses and protects information about adoption; about children, previously permanent residents of the Republic of Lithuania, who have been adopted by the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and by foreign nationals; about children who are nationals of the Republic of Lithuania and who permanently reside abroad, and about children who are not citizens of the Republic of Lithuania but who permanently reside in the Republic of Lithuania and are in the need of personal protection or of protection of their property; about children taken away in violation of the rights of guardianship; about children who are not citizens of the Republic of Lithuania but who are placed under the guardianship in Lithuania; about children who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and who become deprived of parental care abroad; and about children who are considered to be placed in the Republic of Lithuania.

In pursuance of the greater protection of children at risk in cross-frontier situations and in order to develop better communication with other States in respect of children’s rights protection, Lithuania is a party to many important international law instruments.

State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour is acting as the central authority of the Republic of Lithuania within the framework of:

- The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption;
- The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 concerning the Powers of Authorities and the Law Applicable in respect of the Protection of Minors, for the matters referred to in Article 11(1);
- The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;
- The Hague Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, for the matters referred to in Articles 8, 9 and 33;
- The Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters and the Matters of Parental Responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000, for the matters referred to in Articles 55 and 56.

Also:

- The UN Convention of 20 November 1989 on the Rights of the Child;
- The European Convention of 20 May 1980 on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children;
- The European Convention of 15 October 1975 on the Legal Status of the Children Born out of Wedlock;
- The ILO Convention of 17 June 1999 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour;
- The Hague Convention of 2 October 1973 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations;
- The Hague Convention of 2 October 1973 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Relating to Maintenance Obligations.

Lithuania has signed agreements on legal assistance in civil, family and criminal matters with the following States: Kazakhstan, Armenia, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Poland, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Latvia and Estonia.

State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service is also a member of an international NGO founded in 1924 - the International Social Service (ISS). Today a network of national entities and a General Secretariat that assist children and families confronted with complex social problems as a result of migration. Thanks to its presence in more than 120 countries, ISS is a global actor promoting child protection and welfare. In addition to its work on the ground, ISS undertakes training projects, awareness raising and advocacy work in an effort to better respect children's rights.

ISS support and helps approximately 75,000 families in the world each year.

State Child Rights Protection and Adoption services  has close cooperation with Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania  and  Council of the Baltic Sea States by  exchanging good practice and  experiences. As a result of international cooperation with Nordic Council of Ministers  to the Lithuanian child rights specialist was introduced „Avatar based interview training“ by Pär Stihl,  the innovator of the model. Avatar based interview training (AvBIT) is a new method to train sensitive interviews and conversations with a child avatar through the computer screen. The service is web-based and developed at the Institute of Police Education, Linnaeus University, Sweden. The model will be presented by Pär Stihl who has long experience as a police officer and crime investigator around crimes towards children. He is also the innovator of the model and educates police officers in interview training at Linnaeus University.

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