SOFT Tulip is a small organization with a huge network which includes seven major service providers and 25,000 people. They’ve provided training services in Moldova, Serbia, Hungary and, most recently, have big news from Ukraine. SOFT Tulip, UNICEF, the National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine, Early Intervention Institute of Kharkiv, All Ukrainian Foundation for Children’s’ Rights and Eurlyaid, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ukrainian Ministers of health, social policy and education & science.
The action plan lays out a structural change that will take place to introduce an early intervention services system. Mr. Bloemkolk, the Director, points out that it will lead to more intersectoral cooperation between medical centers, children’s day care centers, kindergartens, etc. “E.g. the Early Intervention system in Kharkiv is a good example, by working with one another it stimulates learning within the region,” he said. The structural change should mean not only a higher level of quality care for children, but also that disabilities and developmental delays are caught sooner, and that support is given to parents to stop the process of children and babies being abandoned at institutions for care.
The action plan, which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in December of last year, is being implemented from 2017-2020 and has four main tasks, including:
- “Ensuring the creation of an efficient system of inter-agency coordination of actions regarding the implementation of the pilot project Creation of a system to provide early intervention services to ensure a child’s development, health and life preservation.”
- “Establishing a procedure of interaction between providers and users of early intervention services to ensure a child’s development, health and life preservation.”
- “Advanced training of specialists and experts involved in the system to provide early intervention services to ensure a child’s development, health and life preservation.”
- “Improving the information support of families with newborns and young children, civil society, as well as specialists and experts involved in the system to provide early intervention services to ensure a child’s development, health and life preservation.”
An MoU, signed April 13th, will bring this plan fully into action and introduce the provision of early intervention services for children into practice. SOFT Tulip Foundation, which provides training to practitioners in the field, helped create an action plan that includes opportunities for multi-sectorial learning and knowledge sharing for best practices for all those who work with children in Ukraine.