Minister: Ministry stands behind administrative findings in little girl’s case

NEWS 26.04.2021 14:18
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Source: Robert Anic/PIXSELL

Social Policy Minister Josip Aladrovic said on Monday he supports a ministry report that identified omissions by welfare services in Nova Gradiska in the case of a two-year-old girl who died as a consequence of domestic violence, a report which contradicts expert reports.

The Chamber of Social Workers and Croatian Chamber of Psychologists conducted separate expert analyses of the case and concluded that the social workers and psychologists working on the case acted according to standards, while the ministry last Friday said that it would examine the findings and forward everything to the County Prosecutor in the eastern city of Slavonski Brod.

“We, as the ministry, support the administrative oversight findings. The ministry’s oversight identified certain mistakes in procedure and the findings have been submitted to the County Prosecutor as will the results of the expert analysis. I cannot comment on who was wrong, the chamber or the ministry,” said Minister Aladrovic while presenting an action plan to improve the social welfare system.

He said that the ministry had immediately sent a supervision team which compiled a report that, he said, is an indicator of the efficient work of public administration and not hasty decision making. One of the reasons why the Chamber of Social Workers’ report took longer was because the social worker involved in the case was COVID positive, he added.

He said the omissions identified by the ministry’s supervision team were sufficient to dismiss the director of the welfare centre in Nova Gradiska. The ministry does not want to impact the chamber’s findings but there isn’t any third body that could determine any further procedures, he added.

“There currently isn’t any legal framework on how to reconcile those two findings and conflicts,” said Aladrovic and added that the only thing he can do is to send all the findings to the County Prosecutor to see if there is cause for any other kind of responsibility.

Amendments to the Family Law not planned for this year

As far as amendments to the Family Law are concerned with regard to taking children from their birth parents, Aladrovic said that it is a complex bill that wasn’t planned in the government’s legislative activities for this year and is not a priority, but “we are not unwilling to discuss the Family Law as well in the following period” because there is room for improvement.

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