Analysis of the Children in Need Support Program
Published on 26 February 2021
Published by Social Administrative Program Evaluation Division
The number of children in need is decreasing as there are fewer children in Korea due to the low birth rate. However, the number of children in need per 1000 children has remained at 0.6 since 2015. Against this backdrop, there is an increasing rate of children being classified as ’in need’ arising from child abuse.
Based on measures such as the Inclusive Nation’s Child Policy (May 2019) and Preventive Measures against Child and Adolescent Abuse (July 2020), the government has been developing and implementing a plan to strengthen public responsibility for children in need of protection. However, as cases that cause social disruption such as child abuse leading to death ensue, it has become a crucial policy task to examine whether the measures and policies developed by the government are moving toward the right direction.
Based on such circumstances, this report provides an analysis of the government’s support system for children in need and relevant fiscal programs. The main content and outcomes of the analysis are as follows:
First, regarding child protection programs financed by the Lottery Fund and the Crime Victim Protection Fund, different government ministries have been placed in charge of their operation and fund management, making it difficult to allocate budgets in a timely and meaningful manner. In this respect, the government should integrate the funds to be managed by the operating ministry, so that it may concentrate investments on child protection facilities and support programs to meet policy needs while increasing flexibility based on each individual situation, when necessary.
Second, since there seem to be regional gaps in the level of infrastructure for responding to child abuse - such as child protection agencies, temporary protection facilities and shelters for abused children – the government needs to identify the adequate level of infrastructure in each region and take necessary measures to build such infrastructure. In addition, since parents are responsible for a high percentage of first-time abuse and repeated abuses, the government should seek ways to activate a structured process for educating and handling parents who are perpetrators, and develop a case-management system starting from the early stage of suspected child abuse before any occurrence of a crime, in order to enhance the effectiveness of child abuse prevention.
Third, depending on the type of child welfare facility, the status of designated agents responsible for providing support for children’s independence and related independence support evaluation varies. Also, programs related to independence support which are provided to children whose protection period has ended appears to be run in segments. Therefore, the government needs to ensure that the program for supporting the independence of children in need is made more systematic while establishing an integrated policy system to support the independence of children whose protection period has ended.