Supporting parents to be at the heart of all policies for children and families
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PODGORICA, 31 May 2022 – On the eve of Global Parents’ Day, which is celebrated on 1 June, UNICEF is reminding of the importance of supporting parents by means of various policies, measures, and services in all of Montenegro’s municipalities.
Acting UNICEF Representative to Montenegro Sabina Žunić congratulated all parents on this day.
“Contemporary research on the wellbeing of children provides ample evidence of the importance of supporting parents. In close cooperation with the Government of Montenegro, the European Union and other partners, UNICEF has been continuously working on programmes and policies that contribute to existing and new laws, measures and services that help parents perform the most demanding role in their lives. By promoting and advocating for family-friendly workplace policies, by working to increase the availability of kindergartens and services, and by offering the ‘Caring Families’ parenting programme and the Bebbo app, we are striving to contribute to building societal support for parents so that they can fulfil their role. This support should also contribute to preserving and improving parents’ wellbeing and mental health in accordance with all the demands of modern life. Support for parenthood becomes even more important in the case of vulnerable groups of children – such as children living in foster families or children with disabilities,” Sabina Žunić said.
In cooperation with the European Union in Montenegro, UNICEF is supporting the development and implementation of policies for parents and children, and is working to establish innovative services that meet the current needs of parents. Some examples of this are: the “Caring Families” parenting programme which has been implemented in eight municipalities with more than 700 parents attending it so far; and the Bebbo app, which has been downloaded over 6,000 times so far and which provides parents with scientifically grounded and proven advice and information on health, care and education of children up to the age of 6 years.
A survey of the user experience of parents who use the Bebbo app has shown that most of these parents are of the opinion that the app is easy to use and that it represents a reliable source of information: “I can hardly get any reliable information about my child’s development elsewhere. The application is easy to use and contains information and guidelines for all aspects of child development,” claims one of the users of the application who participated in the survey.
Parents who attended the “Caring Families” programme said that this programme had contributed to the improvement of relationships between family members, increased family satisfaction, and directly affected their mental health. “The programme is phenomenal, and I would recommend it to everyone,” Mersid Sijarić, a father of two from Bijelo Polje, said. “I would recommend the programme to both parents and foster families,” Rozana Božović, a foster mother from Bijelo Polje, said.
The abovementioned activities are part of an effective early childhood system programme, whose goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of children whilst also supporting caregivers. The three-year programme will last until July 2023. It is being funded by the European Union and is being implemented by UNICEF, in cooperation with national partners.
You can read more about the “Caring Families” programme here.
The Bebbo app for parents of children under 6 years of age can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.