In the 1st semester of 2023 "The Smile of a Child" supported 60.468 children and their families
Athens, 11 July 2023
"The Smile of a Child" in the 1st six months of 2023 supported 60,468 children and their families with a 56% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
We responded to 114,991 calls that came into the Organization's 4 Support and Help Lines with an average of 12 seconds wait time.
Our data demonstrates the following statistics compared to those from the same period in 2022:
- We report a 12% increase in the incidents involving the disappearance of children and teenagers.
- We have seen a 17% increase in reports of child abuse and neglect.
- The number of students we have supported with interactive prevention and intevention awareness has increased by 100%.
- We have seen a 97% increase in the number of children to which we provided preventive medical and dental examinations
Our statistics further report:
- We received 240 calls per day - 10 calls per hour - to the National Helpline for Children SOS serious incidents of children.
- Every 3.5 hours we are informing the competent prosecutor and police authorities about a child in danger.
- We report at minimum 2 incidents of child physical abuse daily.
- To date, we have given 1,055 children a home in one of our 11 houses. One in two children were reunified with their families; or were placed in a foster home; or were adopted.
- We provide psychological support to at least 3 children daily.
- We provide transportation for at least 5 newborns and children daily.
In accordance with the current legislative framework, “The Smile of the Child” has provided a holistic approach in providing care and services to the children and families in its Homes for the last 27 years.
Mr. Costas Yannopoulos, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Organization, held a press conference to highlight the services and accomplishments resulting from our 24 hour, 365 days support in the year.Together with 13 clinicians in the organization, they presented the statistics for the first 6 months of 2023 and outlined what to expect in the next 6 months of this year.
Watch the Press Conference HERE: https://www.youtube.com/live/hP7QS3DRnBo?feature=share
Mr. Yannopoulos, welcomed the attendees and stated: " The Smile of the Child " continues to give each child in need of care a new leaf in life, even in the summer months, working together with the required authorities.
The 1st six months of 2023 supported 60,468 children and their families that being a 56% increase compared to the same period in 2022. We, the staff, and the 476 professionals of "The Smile" unite to bring the problems of these children to the forefront of our communities. Twenty seven years ago my son Andreas, as a child, founded "The Smile", giving us the inspiration: “that all children have what they deserve - safety, care and concern".
Mr. Yannopoulos highlighted a few of the memorable achievements this year beginning with being the recipient of the award:Best Volunteer Organization in Greece”.Based on statistical results, financial considerations and measurable impact, “The Smile” was awarded at the Hellenic Responsible Business Awards 2023 ceremony.
Announcements were further made on the evolution of our Homes. Highlighted was the proposed conversion of two “Smile” Homes in Peristeri and Marousi to Day Care Homes using the operational methods of our other homes in Agrinio, Pyrgos and Chalkida. The Homes in Iraklitsa and Kavala will continue to operate as a reception center for unaccompanied minors in collaboration with the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum.
The organization has prepared 9 apartments in Athens and 3 in Thessaloniki to house children aged 15 and older. These homes are part of our framework for semi-independent living program.
Ms. Stavroula Spyropoulou, representing the organization’s psychology department, reported on the statistics from our 4 support and help lines - 1056, 116000, 116111, 1017.
- We responded to 114,991 calls to the Organization's 4 Support amounting to 639 calls per day with an average of 12 seconds wait time.
- 80% of the on-site interventions we administered were either early morning, or during the weekend, when "The Smile" seemed to be their only solution. We believe that every call is an opportunity for a child to claim a better tomorrow.
Ms. Ioanna Lagoumintzi, Social Worker and Coordinator of the Social Service of Care Homes and Day Care Homes reported:
- We received 29 requests for the accommodation of 55 children in the first half of 2023 as compared to 108 requests for 196 children in all of the calendar year 2022. She emphasized the importance of our holistic approach which interconnects all the services needed to care for a child.
- To date, we have given 1,055 children a home in one our 11 houses. One in two children were reunified with their families; were placed in a foster home; or were adopted. The number of children reunited with their families to date is 390 children abiding by the prosecutorial orders and court decisions.
Ms. Stefania Tekou represented our Clinical Social Workers and Coordinator of Day Center for the Provision of Customized Mental Health Services of the organization at the offering the following statistics:
- We provided therapeutic sessions to 134 children, 42 of which were new requests, in the first six months of 2023, along with 97 children from previous years. We do not limit the number of treatments or years of support counseling we give to a child, their caregiver, parent or guardian.
Mr. Stefanos Alevizos, Psychologist and Coordinator of the Organization's National Center for Disappearances and Child Victims of Exploitation, emphasized that integrated mobilization actions are part of our services at "The Smile". He stated that we not only record the problem and provide solutions - we also provide prevention techniques.
- In the six months of 2023 we received 5,734 calls to 116000 and handled 134 requests to search for 98 children, of which 75 children were found.
Ms. Eleni Papakosta, Social Worker, from the Panhellenic Center for Health and Social Care Services, shared with us the mission of “Smile’s” health actions with this heartwarming statistic:
- In the first half of 2023 we holistically supported 8,769 children and their families with serious health problems while maintaining our principles of equality and dignity.
Irini Dede, Pediatrician at the Community Polyclinic of the Organization gave recognition to our volunteer doctors in providing preventative medicine by giving medical examinations to children who live in remote areas. She noted:
- In the first six months of 2023, 440 children participated in the Pediatric Home Nursing Program.
By quoting the founder of “The Smile’’, Andreas, that every child deserves a smile, she emphasized the organization’s commitment to providing equal health services and rights to all children, regardless of gender, race, or religion.
Sofia Kouchi, Social Worker and Coordinator of our 16 Support Centers nationwide, emphasized the cooperative holistic support that is at the center of our services.We have provided this holistic support to 11,220 children and families experiencing serious living problems.In her words: "Every family is different, with different needs and experiences and we have to frame it individually in order for it to be functional again". She also emphasized that: "The goal of the Day Care is integral to the care of the child, and for the family to recover and once again assume the parental role.”
Ms. Roula Sideri, Educator and Coordinator at Care Homes and Day Care Homes emphasized that our main goal is to avoid the risk of the child being removed from his family environment.
While Ioanna Chardaloupa, Psychologist and Coordinator at the Department of Prevention and Children's, Parents’ and Teachers’ Awareness, commented on the 100% increase we have seen in the number of students participating in the interactive prevention and intervention awareness programs in the first six months of 2023. She stated “this increase illustrates importance of informing children, parents and teachers”. The Organization informs children about situations that can be difficult, demanding and soul-destroying for them, such as abuse, Bullying, etc.
Dora Thanopoulou, coordinator of the "Smile Academy" Education and Training Academy of "The Smile", focused on the improvements and innovations that have taken place in the field of education and training.She highlighted that the creation of The Smile Academy is an important milestone on our holistic child protection journey. By strengthening our existing educational activities and by fostering partnerships with other experts in their fields, we offer all children quality education in technology and environmental issues, while empowering our staff, volunteers, and our external partners.
Vera Tsichli, the coordinator of the Volunteering Department reported on the 6,116 volunteers consisting of children and adults. "The precious stone of the Organization is its volunteers. Why do our volunteers respond to our call? To give the children their best smile". She also shared with the audience a story sent by a hospital care volunteer.
Georgina Tsanga, coordinator of the European Student Voluntary Network "YouSmile" emphasized the importance of student volunteering stating "through YouSmile children are trained through experience and their daily contact, with the people of "The Smile", to observe what is happening around them.” This is shown by the fact that 175 student volunteers participated in 515 actions. They learn to care, and to react creatively and helpfully. She concluded with the story of a YouSmiler.
"The Smile of the Child" firmly supports every child and every family that is experiencing a difficult situation, whether it is financial, social, health or otherwise, so that in the future they will be able to face the demands of life on their own in the best possible way. The trust of those who support "The Smile of the Child" is vital because without you... it is not possible!
See photo material of the Press Conference at the following link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/oCj9eBdDKbkx4W2b7
For more information:
The Smile of the Child
Tel: +30 210 3306140