Support to families

Parents have the right to assistance in raising their children

poljoprivredna obitelj od četiri osobe (dvije djece) na otoku Hvaru
UNICEF/Kljajo

Challenge

Parents have the most beautiful and most demanding task – taking care of children, ensuring their wellbeing, and raising them. The modern family faces numerous challenges and often very high expectations. Therefore, it is not surprising that in our research both parents and the wider public agree that it is necessary to provide additional, professional support in raising children. This need is also felt by the parents of girls and boys with disabilities who face special needs and challenges.

Parents who face financial problems, unemployment and illness need strong societal support, so that crises do not jeopardise the rights of children. Research shows that children growing up in families at risk more frequently witness violence or are victims of violence themselves. Continued investments in work with families who are found to be in some sort of risk or who treat their children inadequately play an important role in protecting their wellbeing.

In addition to the responsibility of parents towards children, the Convention on the Rights of the Child mentions in its Article 18 the responsibility of society to help parents in raising their children. This is why it is crucial to make sure that society provides parents with support in the care of their child.

Solution

In order to support parents, UNICEF and its partners launched workshops for parents within the action “The First Three Are the Most Important”. The objective of the workshops “Growing up Together” is to strengthen the positive relationship between parents and children. The workshops teach about the needs of children and parents, offer practical advice on communication skills, and present opportunities to talk about all topics of interest to parents.

majka i otac koji djetetu pokazuju foto album
UNICEF/Kljajo

New scientific findings indicate the importance of the relationship between parents and children for the development of the child. The findings also emphasise the unique contributions to the child’s long-term psychosocial development that arise from the father’s involvement, sensitive support and encouragement in the first years of life. As a result, we have launched workshops under the title “Father’s Club”.

“I can say only the best about the workshops which should keep going. They offer great support for parents.”

Today, the programme is free in all kindergartens, associations and family centres in social welfare centres in 77 Croatian towns. To respond to the needs of parents of children with disabilities, we have launched workshops called “Growing Up Together Plus”.

“You attend these workshops to hear other people, to hear what these very important professionals have to say, and we have seen immense progress in Ante. It means a lot to me, because it is important for me to know that I am not alone in this whole story.”

Experts have recognised that parents who raise children in adverse circumstances and who use the services of social welfare centres need special support. For this reason, workshops for parents and children under the title “Growing up Together – Count Us In” have also been developed; they are mostly run in social welfare centres and family centres.

The “Growing Up Together – Count Us In” workshops are part of the programme “For a Stronger Family”, through which we continuously invest in work with families with children in particularly vulnerable positions.