Published on April 24, 2021

UN-Turkmenistan Joint Programme on social services builds competencies of pilot site specialists working with youth and their families

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Programme Office for Turkmenistan (UNODC) organized the national training “Family Therapy for adolescents with behavioral disorders” as part of the UN-Turkmenistan Joint Programme “Improving the system of social protection through the introduction of inclusive quality community-based social services” in the city of Ashgabat and Lebap, Mary and Dashoguz regions of the country. It was held between April 12 - 16, 2021.

The purpose of the training was to train specialists of the pilot sites, where new specialized community-based social services will be piloted. Participants learnt basic principles of family therapy that are important in providing specialized social services to adolescents with behavioral disorders and their families considering the best world practices. They also covered key elements of Treatnet Family methodology that is based upon key elements of scientifically proven family psychotherapy methods that includes therapeutic techniques, such as positive rethinking the norms of behavior, intentions and interaction; relational thinking, rethinking situations and interventions, seeing the situation from the point of other people; identifying and using strengths of the family, mitigating opposition and denial, strengthening parental interaction and support; and systematic evaluations and taking measures depending on situation.

The training, organized in a hybrid format of an online and in-person participation, was led by representatives of the UNODC Headquarters (Vienna) and the Regional Representative of the UNODC from the city of Tashkent. About 15 participants from the city of Ashgabat joined the training at the Yyldyz Hotel for an in-person training, adhering to social distancing recommendations, while participants from the other velayats and international trainers joined the training sessions on an online format.

It is expected that participants will contribute to piloting specialized community-based social services to adolescents with behavioral disorders, parents who have problems of using psychoactive substances, as well as youth in conflict with law.  

The Joint Programme “Improving the system of social protection through the introduction of inclusive quality community-based social services”, funded by the Joint SDG Fund, is being implemented by the partnering UN agencies, namely, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, and UNODC and Government of Turkmenistan. The Joint Programme aims to introduce a new model of social services at the community level accompanied by relative legislative reviews and capacity building of national social service workforce. The lead national partner is the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan and the lead UN agency is UNICEF. Other key national partners include the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, and Ministry of Finance and Economy.

Implementation period: 2020-2022.