The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision Armenia and the Child Development Foundation announced the launch of the Community Level Access to Social Services project during a public event held in Yerevan on December 4. In attendance at the event were Armenia’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, Davit Lokyan; USAID Armenia Mission Director, Deborah Grieser; Country Programme Director of World Vision Armenia, Zhirayr Edilyan; Director of the Child Development Foundation, Lusine Simonyan, and representatives of organizations working in the field.
The Community Level Access to Social Services or CLASS is a three-year project, funded by USAID and implemented by World Vision Armenia and Child Development Foundation. The project will target capital Yerevan and all the ten provinces of Armenia, supporting the establishment of a community-based social worker position within the structure of local governments and enhancing the communities’ ability to identify, prevent and address their social issues, with the ultimate goal of promoting the establishment of community-based social services in Armenia.
“We appreciate our close and continued partnership with local organizations and the Government of Armenia in strengthening social protection in the country,” the head of USAID Armenia, Deborah Grieser noted in her welcome remarks. “The new project will build on the accomplishments of USAID’s projects supporting the Armenian government’s reforms in the areas of social protection and local governance. The project will introduce over 50 community social workers in the 264 targeted communities of Armenia.”
“This project will help bring social services even closer to the community. The services will become more accessible, while the enhancement of cooperation between different levels of social services will positively contribute to the improvement of the quality of life for most vulnerable families,” said Zhirayr Edilyan, Country Programme Director of World Vision Armenia.
“The Child Development Foundation is pleased to implement the project in 4 marzes of Armenia where no complex activities promoting social work have ever been carried out. Through this project, community social workers will use the same methodology of work throughout the entire country. They will stand closer to the population, helping to best address the existing issues,” noted Lusine Simonyan, Director of Child Development Foundation.
About the Project
The project will be implemented in all the ten provinces of Armenia and in capital Yerevan, promoting the establishment of a community-based social worker’s position within local governments. The project will achieve this through supporting the adoption and enforcement of legislation regulating community based social worker's position and by promoting the establishment of sustainable mechanisms for community based social workers’ capacity building and integration into the local government structure.
In addition, the project will seek to enhance the target communities’ ability to identify, prevent and address their social issues by establishing best practices of coordination and cooperation of child protection actors at community and regional levels, as well as by increasing the resilience of socially most vulnerable families.