A seminar on developing and improving systems for child care and protection services was held in Ho Chi Minh City on January 13.

Jointly organised by the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Vietnam, the event is part of a project which aims to lower the rate of children with special circumstances and raise the rate of those receiving assistance in the city between 2015 and 2016.

To realise these goals, local authorities plan to construct additional centres for supporting and protecting children, pilot a day-boarding model to care for children living with HIV/AIDS, and develop a community-based protection system over the next two years.

Le Thu Ha from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs said child care and protection service system has been piloted in 63 percent of provinces and cities, helping reduce the rate of child victims of violence and abuse, among others, by 0.2 percent annually.

The model also contributed to increasing the rate of children receiving care and assistance to 72 percent.

However, she noted that efforts have yet to meet set requirements because system and staff capacity in the field remains limited, while interdisciplinary coordination in the field has not been effective.

Le Hong Loan from UNICEF Vietnam said the 2015-2016 programme will focus on supporting the formation of socially-sponsored centres and a staff network working in the field, while establishing interdisciplinary working groups to provide assistance, care and protection services to children in need.

Implemented in HCM City since 2010, the project was designed to improve the capacity of local authorities to thoroughly and effectively resolve issues related children, especially those in poor and vulnerable families, and within migration communities.-VNA