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Czech government to support Fund for Children in Need

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Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) – The outgoing Czech government of Bohuslav Sobotka approved an exceptional subsidy of 12.8 million crowns for the Fund for Children in Need (FOD) to solve its crisis at its last meeting on Wednesday, the cabinet writes on its website.

The money should cover the operation of the fund’s Klokanek facilities for children in need that were threatened with abolition due to high debts of the FOD.

The indebted organisation changed its management in 2015, when its long-term head Marie Vodickova was replaced by Jan Vanek. The new board approved budget cuts and agreed on a schedule of the debt installment payment. It also closed its branches in the regions and transferred its asylum homes to other operators.

At present, 15 Klokanek facilities are in operation in the country out of the original 28.

The fund had already received special state subsidies several times and was seeking it again, pointing to the lack of funds for Klokaneks’ operation.

The government decided that the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry would provide the extra subsidy for which it would get money from the state budget.

Klokanek and other facilities for children who need urgent help must follow the law on child protection. The state provides subsidies for their operation to cover the costs of stay and care, which is calculated at 22,800 crowns a month. The sum is reduced according to the days when a child stays outside the facility.

Both FOD and other organisations criticise this system. According to the Senate’s draft, such a facility would receive a lump sum plus further subsidies according to children’s actual stay there. However, this amendment has not been passed yet.

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