In 2022, Romania’s SWs were faced with new challenges, brought on by the war on Romania’s doorstep, in the Ukraine, and the massive influx of Ukrainian refugees. More than 2.5 million Ukrainians have crossed Romania’s borders since the start of the conflict, with almost 100,000 settling in the country. These are often fragile populations, lacking resources: mothers with children, the elderly, unaccompanied minors and disabled people. Faced with this situation, the SWs of the Romanian platform found themselves on the front line. Language barriers, multiple needs, urgency, late and inadequate response from public authorities, lack of training – all of these were immediate challenges for the Romanian SWs, who were not able to forget their usual audiences. The combined effects of the Covid-19 crisis and the Ukrainian refugee crisis severely tested a profession faced with a chronic lack of resources and recognition. Romanian TSRs were forced to innovate and reinvent themselves.
Parada organized 3 meetings between Romanian SWs members of the national platform and social stakeholders and local authorities, focusing on specific themes.
Participants : General Directorate of Public Assistance and Child Protection for the 6 sectors of Bucharest, Save the Children, Samu Social Romania, L’association Pe Stop, ARAS, FONSS, CARITAS, You-Hub.
Discussions during the three workshops focused on : the situation of young people who have reached the end of their institutionalization period, the situation of families squatting in Bucharest (an increasingly numerous group), as well as the situation of young street users (a phenomenon that is constantly on the rise). The workshops also included meetings with some of the local authorities responsible for these issues. The final workshop focused on the Ukrainian refugee crisis and the way it has been tackled in Romania, giving rise to a reflection on the place and role of SWs in this new context, and on the challenges ahead. Minutes were drawn up at the end of each workshop, the last of which gave rise to a comprehensive report on the situation of the reception of Ukrainian refugees in Romania and the challenges ahead, from the point of view of social operators in the field.
As a result of these exchanges, it was felt important to make the meetings between SWs, public social assistance professionals and NGOs permanent, to be held every three months and whenever necessary, in order to assess the evolution of situations on the ground, exchange practices, share experiences, communicate and get to know each other better.