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2022 Rev. Universitara Sociologie 46 (2022)
Child Care through the Involvement of NGOs - An International Perspective

handle is hein.journals/rvusoclge2022 and id is 624 raw text is: Revista Universitara de Sociologie - Year XVIII, Issue 3/2022

Elena-Monica MIHALCEA1, Lavinia Elisabeta POPP2
1Ph.DStudent, West University of Timisoara (Romania),
E-mail: monica.mihalcea9 tagmaihcom
2Professor, PhD, Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
E-mail: laviniaxpp ubbcluixo
Abstract: Child protection is a major point of interest not only for the competent institutions in
the field, but also for the NGOs that have extended their activity, embracing this category of
beneficiaries, too. The vulnerability of the children coming from underprivileged environments,
often caused by the precarious conditions existing in the natural families, is the object of several
NGOs, which evolved after the 1990s. Democracy restored the civil societies'freedom and courage
to pool their resources for non-profit purposes, aiming at increasing the quality of the lives of the
children who are in risk situations. This paper grasps, from an internal perspective, the manner in
which an association intervenes for preventing situations of child abuse, neglect and even
abandoning. The research methodology used a qualitative method, i.e. the interview, in order to
observe the impact of the provided social services, from a triple perspective (the associations'
president, the association's beneficiaries and the association's volunteers).
Keywords: child protection, social services, risk situations, prevention, NGO.
1. Introduction
The concepts ,civil society or ,tertiary sector widely refer to the totality of the
volunteer associations (whether it be district committees or philanthropic institutions), which
operated independently from government and were considered an essential ingredient in the
democracy welfare by some authors (Foley and Edwards, 1996: 38). Friedrich Hegel considers
that the civil society is the historical product of economic modernization and comprises all the
social actors who are not dependent on the state apparatus (Spurk, 2010: 7).
According to Fukyama (2001: 7), the content of the civil society can be described as an
interest group trying to direct the public sources to their favorite causes. In detail, the civil
society includes the non-governmental organizations, the private volunteer organizations, the
community organizations, the civic clubs, the unions, the cultural and religious groups, charity
centers, sports and social clubs, professional associations, academies, consumers and media
organizations (Essia and Yearoo, 2009: 368).
Thus, it is important to make the distinction between civil society and non-
governmental organizations, as an integral part thereof, although many times these terms are
mistaken for each other. According to (2010: 186), non-governmental organizations are
~institutionalized, apolitical and non-profit private structures, independent of any public
authority, which carry out activities of public interest. They can be active in any field, such as
science, education, social protection, economy, environment, child protection, etc.
The subject of this paper is the non-governmental organizations acting in the field of
child protection. In Sparleanu's opinion (2010: 186), they expanded after the fall of
communism, adhering to the international model. This field aroused the interest of that time
because of the large number of unwanted and abandoned children and the poor conditions in
orphanages. The neo-protestant organizations had a special involvement in the social service
system centered on the children's welfare, intensely financing this field. The international
media campaigns presented the desolating situation of the Romanian institutionalized children,


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