Please Sign this Petition and Write Your Own Letter of Support
The List of Recipients:
EU Ombudsman: email@example.com
Serbian Ombudsman for Child Servces: firstname.lastname@example.org
Serbian Government: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Ombudsman of Serbia
TEL: +381 11 2142 281
FAX: +381 311 28 74
Dr Tijana Mirović
Psychologist, individual and family psychotherapist, mediator
TEL: + 381 0 64 147 1008
European Integration Office
Tel. +381 11 3061 100
FAX: +381 11 3061 110
Ministry of Justice and Public Administration
TEL: +381 11 3622 345
Office of the Minister
TEL: +381 11 3616 548
+381 11 3616 549
TEL: +381 11 3620 497
Sector for European Integration and International Projects
TEL: +381 11 3620 458
Sector for Normative Affairs and International Cooperation
TEL: +381 11 3622 340
Sector for the Representation of the Republic of Serbia before the European Court of Human Rights
Ministarstvo rada, zapošljavanja i socijalne politike
TEL: +381 11 3614 621
FAX: +381 11 3617 587
TEL: +381 11 3616 599
+381 11 3616 130
TEL: +381 11 3619 821
FAX: +381 11 3619 821
DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY CARE AND SOCIAL WELFARE
Department for Administrative and supervisory tasks in family care
Head of Department – Dragan Vulević
TEL: +381 11 3615 677
Department for Administrative Affairs in the area of social protection
Head of Department – Mirjana Kecman
TEL: +381 11 3346 912
Department for Inspection
Head of Department – Biljana Zekavica
TEL: +381 11 363 1494
EML: biljana.zekavica @ minrzs.gov.rs
ODELJENJE ZA MEĐUNARODNU SARADNJU, EVROPSKE INTEGRACIJE I PROJEKTE
Načelnik odeljenja – Dragana Radovanović
TEL: +381 11 3616 261
Ministry of Health Republic of Serbia
TEL: +381 11 3613734
+381 11 3616540
FAX: +381 11 2656548
For your convenience, the list of emails have been cut and pasted here:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, mirjana.kecman @ minrzs.gov.rs, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Imagine a state worker taking child from you – and they didn’t even follow the law to do it.
– Sunčana Alvarado
Under law, unless it’s an emergency, where a child is in imminent danger, Child Protective Services (CPS) workers are supposed to request a hearing in front of a judge – where the parents accused of neglect or abuse can tell their side of the story before a child is removed from the home. But that was not happening in Jovana’s story.
In this country when someone breaks the law, whether it is a police officer, a doctor, or an ordinary citizen they are charged with a crime. Should it be any different for CPS?
When a doctor is negligent in performing his duties and his patient is injured or killed because of that negligence he is held accountable. Should it be any different for CPS?
When a government agency in this country isn’t following the law, and performing its duties as required, they are investigated and if needed, the Federal Government intervenes to make them perform those duties or shuts them down. Should it be any different for CPS?
Evidence shows that Child Protective Services isn’t working in this country, it is a broken system not merely full of cracks, but riddled with big gaping holes that children are falling into. Hasn’t the time come to change this department?
The supervisors and social workers in these cases hide behind confidentiality laws, that were initially implemented to protect families and children, but that now seem merely in place to protect CPS. Criminal prosecution for these workers is almost unheard of, even with proof of forged documents, perjury, failure to perform statutory duties, and in some cases a complete and total disregard for the well-being of the children entrusted to their care. These workers, their supervisors and all involved, walk away from these crimes free and clear without any ramifications for their behavior at all, often times right back into the office and back to work, like nothing ever happened. Hasn’t the time come to change this department?
Please read Jovana’s story and sign the petition, thank you!
– Sunčana Alvarado
Jovana’s birth mother signed parental rights to Children Protective Services (CPS) immediately after giving birth. CPS placed 10-day-old Jovana in Srbijanka Marković’s home as a foster child. Over the following two years, Jovana developed into a well-adjusted, healthy, thriving, toddler, with a strong family bond to the Marković Family, residing in Smederevska Palanka, Serbia.
Two years later, on September 2, 2013, Jovana was removed (read: abducted) at the recommendation of psychologist Tanja Šupic, employed at the Center for Social Work in Smederevska Palanka. Ms. Šupic recommended the instant removal of Jovana from her home with Srbijanka Marković, the only family, friends and community she had known since birth. The reasons given for removing Jovana without consideration for a transitional period include:
1. Jovana’s developmentally appropriate bond with the Marković family;
2. The Marković family’s desire to adopt Jovana;
3. Srbijanka Marković’s genuine concerns for Jovana’s long-term well-being;
4. Srbijanka Marković’s “manipulative and mindful” desire to ensure Jovana’s relationship with her brother and sister, who reside in different foster homes.
Without a transitional period, the instantaneous removal of Jovana and placement with people she had never met could have devastating effects on Jovana’s development, her ability to trust, and her ability to bond with new caregivers.
From birth until September 1, 2013, Jovana relied on the Marković’s family to provide a stable home with the consistent and loving care children need and deserve to develop into healthy adults. From two-year-old Jovana’s perspective, she was home one day and with total strangers the following night.
Please ask the Serbian Government to return two-year-old Jovana to the only family she has known and with whom she has a parent-child bonded relationship.
Keep everyone involved in your thoughts in the coming days as we look forward to seeing Jovana reunited with her family, friends, and community.
Please sign this PETITION requesting the Serbian Government return Jovana to her family, and approve the Marković family’s request to adopt Jovana.
Letter of Support
Muhammad Zeitsev bin Azman, dr. med., dipl. biokem.
TEL: +385 97 623 9367
September 30, 2013
Re: Letter of Support – Help needed in returning Jovana back to her loving family
To the respected Ombudsman, the Heads of Ministries, the Director of the Social Services in the Republic of Serbia,
To the Minister of Health,
To the Marković family,
To Sunčana Alvarado, and the many others are and will be involved in this case;
My name is Dr. Muhammad Zeitsev bin Azman and I live in Zagreb, Croatia. Through a friend, I was invited to sign a petition to prevent the removal of a baby girl, Jovana, from her only known family. She was given to the Marković family by Social Services within 10 days of her birth and since then the Marković family has taken care of her. At the age of two and the beginning of September 2013, Jovana was taken away from her unofficial, but emotionally attached family, and they have been trying to win her back by officially adopting her. As far as I understood in this video uploaded on YouTube, Jovana was given to the Marković family without the appropriate paperwork, and knowing the bureaucratic procedures and paperwork involved in this region is unusually lengthy, I would like to help by presenting a common case in adoption procedures.
What Social Services, Child Protection Services or other equivalent government agencies do not realize is that most of the time, they are separating an already emotionally attached child from their known parents without any consideration of the repercussions to Jovana. Separation anxiety is a socially debilitating disease that carries out through your lifetime, and attachment to the caretakers happens almost immediately. By separating Jovana from her loving environment, the social workers at Centar za Socijalni Rad Smederevska Palanka are doing the exact opposite of what they claim to do on their webpage:
“Свако од нас, у неком периоду живота, може имати потребу за услугама центра за социјални рад. Наши стручни радници – социјални радници, психолози, педагози, правници– имају законску обавезу да изађу у сусрет грађанима којима је потребна помоћ и подршка: деци и омладини, особама са посебним потребама, особама са психолошким проблемима, особама са проблемима у породичним односима и насиљем у породици, особама које имају проблеме због сиромаштва и старим особама којима је неопходна помоћ.”
By removing Jovana away from caring parents, the Center of Social Work is just creating psychological problems and through my experiences living in Croatia, Jovana will have social problems that will turn to abusing social determinants of health when she reaches her experimental age. Personally, I have seen men and women in Croatia, who have been affected by separation anxiety and have had many repercussions that can be seen by the domino effect of social problems through their lifetime, ranging from racism to infidelity to date-rape behavior. The impact of any type of psychological trauma as a child can create a snowball of symptoms in the future. I myself, being a diplomatic child, have the constant urge to move every three years, and thus having a small but significant effect on my social behavior. Remember that the definition of good health is balanced by the WHO as physical, mental and social well-being!
Reading through the Porodični zakon (Službeni glasnik Republike Srbije broj 18/20005 od 24.2.2005.) (Član 7, Član 88-103, Član 106-109, Član 110-118), I believe that the Marković family has the right to adopt Jovana as part of their family, thus reducing the burden on Centar za Socijalni Rad Smederevska Palanka , reducing the risk of Jovana developing social behavioral problems in her future, and creating a healthy family environment within the Marković family. However, the social workers at the Centar za Socijalni Rad Smederevska Palanka is not allowing them to file for adoption and is removing Jovana from her loving home.
Please consider this plea to help the Marković family by reviewing the case, as well as other families who are facing the same problems, to expedite the procedures for adoption and to reduce the time of bureaucracy, so that Jovana can rejoin the loving family that she grew up with.
There is a petition to support Jovana return to her family! Please take two seconds out of your time to sign and share!
Thank you and Sincerely,
Muhammad Zeitsev bin Azman, dr. med., dipl. biokem.
Check out this article on Prva.rs and this article on Novosti.rs! I’m sorry none of this is in English so that the international support cannot get more information, but if you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment below!