Dad, Mum, We Are with You!
UNICEF is launching a campaign for children with developmental disabilities and their families
Belgrade, 16 June 2022 - According to expert assessments in Serbia, around 60,000 children up to 6 years of age require early intervention services. Family-oriented early interventions entail early recognition of developmental risks, difficulties and disabilities facing the child, additional support need assessment, and support services to parents to support the optimum development and progress of the child, together with experts.
UNICEF, in co-operation with the Ministry of Health and other partners, is launching a campaign to equip early intervention centres in developmental counselling units across the country with assistive technology, computers and digital equipment, didactic materials, furniture tailored to the needs of children and parents, transport vehicles, and to provide training and empowerment of experts from different sectors for the implementation of family-oriented early interventions. This will allow for efficient outreach work at family homes and kindergartens in order to ensure that all families with children up to 6 years of age with developmental difficulties and disabilities have access to services crucial to their development, especially children not living in large cities.
"Timely integration of the family in the early intervention programme has been proven to promote a return to typical development paths before starting school in more than 70 percent of children with developmental delays, while others have the need for continued long-term support after the age of six. For parents and children with developmental difficulties and disabilities, waiting is not an option, which is why we invite all those who can to join in as soon as possible and contribute to ensuring that all parents get the support they need to get their child facing difficulties on the right track", stated Jelena Zeganovic-Jakovljevic, Health and Early Development Programme Specialist, UNICEF Serbia.
In order for children with developmental difficulties and disabilities, as well as their families, to achieve the best results in mitigating the consequences of development risks, difficulties and disabilities, timely, comprehensive and joint support of various service providers - paediatricians, experts in developmental counselling units in health care centres, teachers and expert associates in preschool institutions and employees in centres for social work, is of crucial importance.
In the family-oriented early intervention centres, experts will, in cooperation with parents, develop an individual support plan for the child and family and implement it through regular visits by the expert team to the family home, as well as support provided to the family and the child in the kindergarten, as the most natural environment for fostering development and learning The goal is to support the child to achieve its full potential and to grow up happy and fulfilled, to play and learn within the family and among its peers.
UNICEF invites citizens and companies in Serbia to join the campaign supporting children with developmental disabilities and their parents by paying contributions to the giro account 160-666-18, the purpose of payment 0222 - Dad, Mum, We Are with You.
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/serbia