Managing children in conflict with the law is a challenging process that ranges from the difficulty of reporting and proactive case management, to their reintegration into society.
Two young brothers (AR and LR) were identified by the Emergency Service Team of ARSIS Initiative that provides psychological and social assistance to the police stations in Kamza and Tirana, that deal with children in contact with the law. AR and LR belong to a family of five members, together with their parents and younger sister. The first time that they came in contact with the law was during the fifth and seventh grades of elementary school. At that time, the brothers were constantly dropping out of school and were identified as ‘children in a street situation’. Later on, they engaged in actions that brought them in conflict with the law, where they underwent an alternative sentence through the Probation Service.
Nisma ARSIS is creating opportunities for the protection and reintegration for both AR and LR, as well as other youths in contact with the law, enabling them to work part-time in local businesses, supporting them with psychological counseling, providing guidance to their parents and facilitating the communication between the juveniles and the Probation Service. “Occupying the time of minors with activities that highlight their work skills, strengthens their self-image by increasing their self-esteem and motivation to succeed,” says Ardit Reka, Social Worker engaged with Nisma ARSIS.
The functionality and the sustainability of this comprehensive support mechanism facilitates and strengthens the trust of juveniles in the protection system. “We now have new and better friends who don’t lead us into trouble, but only share with us opportunities and support for ourselves and our family,” say AR and LR.