Monday, October 20, 2008

hooray for the Ministry of Social Development!

I always felt sorry for this ministry and reckoned it was one of the most difficult portfolios in the government. They have suffered from a high turnover of ministers and inappropriate appointments - how on earth can an army officer manage this ministry (as nice as he might be)?

So, this morning I was at the opening of a regional conference for police officers on family protection and sitting behind me was an old friend whom I had not seen for a long time. He was the head social worker at the Family Protection Department (police) and is now head of the family department at the ministry. He was telling me that they are now putting orphaned children in foster care instead of in an institute. I think this is an absolutely fantastic initiative. Those institutes were not the places to bring up children. I asked if prospective parents ask for girls or boys (being worried that the girls might be used as maids) and he said absolutely not and they have very high criteria before fostering is allowed and close follow up.

As an aside he told me how fantastic his minister is (Hala Latouf) and how they all respect her and how hard she works with long hours in the office. In all the years I have been in the development field this is the first time I have heard such praise from someone about their minister! Good for her. T

5 Comments:

Anonymous kinzi said...

T, this is SUCH encouraging news!!! It never ceases to amaze me that with changes in leadership, the usual ineptness of typical ministry offices and fighting the 'status quo' of public opinion every day, that the Ministry of Social Development manages to keep moving forward with innovative ideas.

I second your bravo, and your continued investment in encouraging forward movement!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Anonymous K said...

This really is great news, T. I hope they would get the word out more about the fostering opportunities - are they allowing foreigners to foster, as long as they follow all the rules (which have been rather straightforward and clear for years)? As recently as last fall I heard there were something like 80 "approved" prospective foster parents waiting for infants through the MSD and they had been told there were no infant "foundlings" (the only ones allowed to be fostered). Do the children now being fostered include those of "known parents" who had previously been doomed to stay in the institutions until some relative agreed to take them out. Many people don't know that most of the children in Jordan's orphanges are of known parentage and are wards of the state for reasons varying from divorce, death of parent(s), no financial resources, imprisonment of parent(s), etc. It is really encouraging if the new minister is thinking out of the box on this issue and enlisting caring and experienced people like T's old contact. God give them strength for this dedicated work. K

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second everything good you may have heard about the Minister. I work with children with Downs' Syndrome and other forms of mental disability and she has been enormously supportive to us as well, in a silent, non showy way. Long may she continue Inshallah. S

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Blogger MommaBean said...

Blessings indeed. Thanks for the update and hooray.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008  
Blogger joladies said...

K - will try to get you some answers next week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008  

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