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An example of children at risk of family separation

Watch Galina Markove discuss children of ethnic minorities and migrant populations in particular Roma children and risk of family separation

In this video, Chrissie Gale speaks to Dr Galina Markova. Galina is Manager of the Know How Centre on Alternative Care for Children in the New Bulgarian University in Sofia. She has a Masters in Clinical Social Work at the New Bulgarian University and a PhD in Social Work from Smith College, USA. Her PhD dissertation is on research into attachment representations of parents whose children live in institutions. Her experience in the field of deinstitutionalisation started when she took part in a survey of the impact of institutionalisation of babies in Bulgaria. Galina combines attachment theory and strengths-based approaches in teaching, research, and clinical practice. She has implemented innovative practices for integrating children and families affected by multiple discrimination.

Galina tells us about the prejudice some ethnic groups may experience and how that can put children of those communities at a higher risk of coming into care. In particular, she shares her knowledge about the challenges facing the Roma community in Bulgaria and how their often-heightened vulnerability to social exclusion and poverty can lead to the increased possibility of their children being placed in alternative care. This is sometimes compounded by a higher degree of belief among professionals, and public, that certain ethnic minorities, including Roma, are unable to cope appropriately with parenting responsibilities. Galina concludes by highlighting how important it is for professionals and others to take a committed anti-discriminatory approach when engaging with marginalised communities.

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Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

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