Child protection includes various benefits and services to safeguard the rights and welfare of children.
In Estonia, child protection is managed pursuant to the Child Protection Act by the Republic of Estonia Government, Child Protection Council, Ministry of Social Affairs, Social Insurance Board and local government authorities.
Republic of Estonia Government - tasked with developing legislative drafts and national strategies on child protection, and budget planning.
Child Protection Council - a government committee where all information on child protection is channelled to design the policy and strategies on children and families.
Ministry of Social Affairs - tasked with managing national child protection and designing the policy on children and families.
Social Insurance Board - handles requests for national benefits and services for families with children. Its Child Protection Department offers support to specialists working with children and manages cross-sectorial prevention and cooperation (social, education, medicine, legal protection).
Local government authorities - manage child protection on local level and create the necessary preconditions for safeguarding the rights and welfare of children in the municipality.
The Child Protection Department is a national implementing authority that was established on January 1-st 2016 in order to provide support to local authorities in performing child protection functions, homogenize and improve the quality of child protection work on local level, and develop a capable national and regional child protection system.
The Child Protection Department performs tasks assigned to the Social Insurance Board by the Child Protection Act.
- As for the management of child protection, the department:
- implements the national child protection policy;
- implements national strategies;
- coordinates cross-sectorial prevention and cooperation in the field of child protection.
- As for the implementation of measures in support of children and families, the department:
- manages outreach;
- collects statistics on child protection;
- manages domestic and international adoption;
assesses the suitability of foster families and manages their preparation;
- manages professional counselling of child protection workers;
- provides the 24/7 helpline service to specialists working with children to assist children in need of help or in danger;
- operates the Child Helpline 116 111, www.lasteabi.ee.
- Following requests from local government authorities, the department:
- assists in solving child protection cases and finding the appropriate intervention for children and families;
- mediates individual international child protection cases;
- advises on drafting of development plans that support child and family welfare.
Regional teams of the Child Protection Department are located in four cities across Estonia - Tallinn, Jõhvi, Tartu and Pärnu.
The regional teams cover the following administrative territories:
Ida-Viru and Lääne-Viru CountiesSouthern region
Jõgeva, Tartu, Võru, Põlva, Valga and Viljandi CountiesWestern region
Saare, Hiiu, Lääne and Pärnu CountiesThe Child Protection department is composed of the head of department, the head of development and prevention unit, regional managers, service managers, chief specialists, case consultants, and several project teams.