Bosnia & Herzegovina
The Yapaka slogan goes: if you are a parent, there are no instructions for use … but the comfort is, you are not alone! Yapaka is a programme promoted by the Belgian Ministry of the French-Speaking Community for the prevention of any form of “mistreatment” in the family, including corporal punishment. The programme addressed parents, children, teenagers and professionals: first, through an awareness raising campaign with TV spots, then with an all encompassing website. The parent’s section on the website presents different material on positive parenting: one book created to show how parenting can be challenging and enriched with the quotes from parents and children. The other book, the “Survival Kit for Parenting Heavy Loaded Teenagers”, is dedicated to the positive parenting of teenagers. Parents are shown how misunderstandings and tension can quickly lead to the escalation of conflict, and even to the use of violence. Both books emphasise the open-ended process of parenting, and the uselessness of ready made solutions. Many parents have shown their appreciation of the material and have posted their comments on the Yapaka website.
Contact person: Vincent Magos
Email: vincent.magos [at] cfwb.be
Strengthening positive parenting skills has proved successful not only as a means of preventing, but also for breaking existing patterns of violence in the family. Since 2007, BZN De Stobbe has been dealing in and around Antwerp with many parents and children who have experienced domestic violence. The approach here is to help rather then to condemn parents. Based on the evidence-based programme Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme), a treatment plan is mapped out, tailored to the specific dynamics and functioning of the family in question. The plan helps to restore a safe and caring environment for children in which parents can take on their full responsibility as caretakers. The Triple P method promotes an appreciation of parents for their own parenting abilities. It consists of different levels of intervention so that a concrete situation can be assessed in context of the needs of the parents for support and the required intensity of the intervention. The approach allows BZN De Stobbe to work with different families, to be responsive to different contexts and different problems. The programme has been so effective that the Flemish Minister of Welfare has decided to extend its implementation to the entire province of Antwerp.
Contact: Aleydis Ceulemans
Email: bznatlas [at] bzndestobbe.be
When children are neglected, there are two ways of dealing with parents: one is to blame them. The “Parenting is Partnership Project” of the association Children First has chosen to provide another answer, namely to actively involve parents in group and individual activities that encourage them to be responsible parents. The parents addressed by the project belong to families who have been signalled for child neglect by the welfare services of Dubrava, a small community near Zagreb. Parenting is Partnership seeks to increase parents’ positive parenting skills through counselling and workshops, by strengthening social networks and by providing them with alternatives to violent upbringing. As a result, 85% parents have reported an improvement in their relations within the family.
Contact Person: Sanja Oreškovi?
Email: udr-djeca-prva [at] inet.hr
Pregnant women and young mothers are very often in need of guidance when it comes to parenting, especially if they are alone! In almost fifteen years of work, the Tartu Child Support Centre has gained sufficient insight into child abuse to emphasise the need for prevention by way of parenting programmes. “For a Better Future” offers mothers lectures, group discussions, fun activities and individual counselling. The group work is held by paediatricians, psychologists and social workers, covering different topics such as child development and positive parenting. In the group discussion mothers are invited to share their experience of being young moms, including the great challenges it can pose. Encouraged by a music pedagogue, young mothers have the chance to experiment creativity and other stimulating activities with their babies. The ultimate goal is to make young mothers aware of their parenting methods and to provide them with non-violent alternatives.
Since 2000 Finnish parents have the opportunity to get online parenting advice via Email with a reply guaranteed within two weeks. The service, whose take up increases yearly, is provided by the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, an NGO with more than 90 000 members and a network of over 500 local associations. The NGO also runs an Online Discussion Forum for parents, and a website which offers extensive information and practical advice on topics all around child development and positive parenting. Read more.
Contact Person: Marie Rautava
Moving to a new society can be an enriching experience, but the accompanying rupture of social relationships, rapid cultural change and a different language are also hard challenges that immigration poses. At the Multicultural Centre of Expertise of Väestöliitto (Family Federation of Finland) families and parents with an immigrant background can exchange their cultural experiences of child-raising and discuss issues such as starting a family, children’s schooling and bilingualism. The discussion groups are led in Finnish, Kurdish, Dari, Persian, Russian and Somali. The centre also offers multilingual assistance and counselling via telephone and email, and provides a booklet on child-raising (a guide to being an immigrant parent and to child development) translated and adapted to different cultural backgrounds. The Multicultural Centre of Expertise is working hard to cater for the steadily growing demand for their services.
Contact Person: Meri-Sisko Eskola
Parents who are in need of some quiet for solving problems in the upbringing of their children in a peaceful and protected setting are welcomed by a group of professionals at the Maison des Parents/ Centre for Parents . Individual and group support, workshops and conflict mediation are the main services on offer for preventing the escalation of conflict in the family. Parents have given very positive feedback on the services provided by this centre in Northern France. La Maison des Parents is one of a number of local level support centres set up by the Centre Français de Protection de l’Enfance across France.
Contact Person: Christiane Vautier
Why does my baby cry all night? How can I teach my small child not to touch everything? How do I get my pre-school child to tidy up? Since 1975, the Association for a New Education (ANE) is providing answers to these and a whole lot of other questions. ANE publishes a series of short booklets, referred to as letters for parents that provide parents with positive parenting support. Parents receive this series of 46 letters by post from the day the child is born until he/she reaches eight years. Each letter is delivered to their home “right in time”, corresponding to the child’s age and development stage and to the questions parents have exactly at this point in time. That way a small problem can stay small and does not need to grow into a huge conflict. Several surveys have shown that the letters make parents feel less burdened and more empowered in their parenting skills.
For the Turkish community in Germany, ANE has produced a series of bilingual letters that deals with particular issues that arise from growing up within two cultures.
Contact Person: Birgit Storr
Email: Storr [at] ane.de
If you see a lady wearing a red scarf in the Neukölln neighbourhood of Berlin, then you might be in front of one of the Neukölln District Mothers. Mothers and grandmothers of immigrant origin are trained for 6 months on how to advise other parents on topics such as education, health, and positive parenting practices. At the end of their training they receive a red scarf and a bag full of information material. The District Mothers are often of the same origin as the families they go to visit. This makes the discussion on issues such child-raising or as access to health and schooling easier. Through friends, relatives and public services they have access to many families of the migrant communities and are able to address the difficult topic of non violent child-raising. This programme has been so successful that it has been extended to other Berlin neighbourhoods and has even been exported to Australia!
Contact Person : Maria Macher
In order to raise strong and self-assured children, parents themselves have to be confident and self-assured. This is the assumption underlying the Starke Eltern - Starke Kinder ® Programme, literally Strong Parents – Strong Children, a parenting course created by the German Child Protection Alliance (DKSB). A central aim of the course is to prevent physical punishment through strengthening parenting skills of mothers and fathers alike. Parents are not singled-out for their mistakes, but are encouraged and supported by the trainers to reflect on their goals as parents and to develop new strategies for coping with problems with their children. Involving children in decision-making as well as an active communication between parents and children are considered as essential means for preventing and/or solving conflict. The programme has proved to be successful in tackling many common problems in families, and is being adopted by an increasing number of public welfare facilities across Germany.
Contact person: Paula Honkanen-Schoberth
The Centro per le Famiglie of Casalecchio di Reno is part of a network of the community centres created by the Regione Emilia-Romagna to actively support families in different aspects of daily life. The network was established in 1989, when the need for an integrated system of parent and family support was first recognized by the region’s authorities. The Casalecchio di Reno Centre is known in the region for its multiple training classes offered to parents. Here parents are encouraged by professionals to train their communication skills and to cover a broad variety of topics, from positive discipline through to fatherhood. Parents have been reacting well and the demand for the courses is growing in the community.
Contact Person: Laura Caruso
Being well prepared is an ideal starting point for being a parent. Since 2007, the Good Parent – Good Start programme of the Nobody’s Children Foundation (FDN), has been offering parents of children under the age of three workshops and educational meetings. It focuses on essential subjects such as: how to raise a child without violence, how to build a child’s self-esteem, how to control one’s own emotions, how to deal with anger etc. During the face-to-face meetings parents work in groups in an atmosphere of trust, friendship and respect. Through various methods such as brainstorming, role-playing and working on one’s own experiences, they are encouraged step-by-step to find solutions to their everyday problems, becoming hence more aware, more careful and therefore more self-assured parents. All workshops are free of charge and child-care is provided to enable parents to fully concentrate on the activities. This form of support is highly valued by parents, who report feeling more confident in performing their parental tasks after having participated in the workshops.
Contact person: Renata Szredzi?ska
Email: renata.szredzinska [at] fdn.pl
This little book is about parents who are sometimes powerless. Perhaps you are not among them. But there is sure to be something that strikes a chord in you. The Book for Parents, from which the quotation is taken, was created in 2001 by the Swedish Governmental Committee on Child Abuse. It tells seven tales about young and older children and mothers and fathers who sometimes loose control and do not understand why. The stories are told from different points of view, and contain very insightful conclusions and useful advice. The booklet has been distributed to parents and families mainly via the public pharmacies: pharmacy staff had been informed about the content and customers with children were invited to take a copy. This provided easy access to a wide range of families throughout the Swedish society. The project was then handed to the organization Children’s Rights in Society (BRIS), which has been offering a free downloadable version of the booklet on its website in Swedish, English and in the languages of the most prevalent migrant communities in Sweden , such as Arabic, Turkish, Serbian, Spanish and many more.
Contact person: Peter Irgens
Email: Peter.Irgens [at] bris.se
Since 1999, Turkish fathers have a chance to be supported in their parenting skills. The Father Support Program, created by the Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV), is the first programme in Turkey that aims to support the parental role of fathers of young children. The course was developed partly in view of the lack of services and resources for fathers in this field, but also as a response to the request of mothers who had participated in AÇEV’s Mother Education classes. How do you involve fathers in their children’s education? Teachers from primary schools, counsellors and guidance teachers are trained by AÇEV to conduct a course where, through group discussions as well as the shared “tea ritual”, fathers gain a deeper understanding of their child’s development. The course encourages fathers to apply positive disciplining methods, a fact which, studies show, has lead to a decrease in authoritarian and permissive child-raising attitudes of the fathers once the course was terminated. The programme has so far been implemented in 15 Turkish provinces, and reaches more than 4.000 fathers and children yearly.
Contact person: Hasan Deniz
Positive parenting should start early. The NSPCC Ashdown Family Centre in the south of England provides an eight week parenting programme for first time parents with a baby below one year called “Where’s the Manual?”. The aim of the programme is to encourage parents to reflect on parenting practices before children display behaviour problems and to build parents’ confidence to deal with any issues that may arise. The programme covers the topics such as: the importance of forming strong attachments; the parent’s own experiences of being parented and how these impact on their relationship with the new baby; what methods of discipline they intend to use; what plans they have for a positive parenting experience. Parents involved in the programme really value the opportunity to take time out of their busy daily routine to think through these broader issues of parenting, and also consider it as a chance to socialise with other parents.
Hitting children is as unacceptable as hitting anyone else and should be equally unlawful. Children are Unbeatable (CAU) is an alliance which campaigns for the UK to modernise the law on assault to afford children the same protection as adults. The Children are Unbeatable Alliance has brought together more than 400 organisations and many more individuals to lobby politicians and influence the wider society. In addition to up-to-date information on developments regarding law reform, the CAU website encourages parents and others interested to become involved in campaigning for a legal ban on physical punishment by providing a range of campaign resources. It furthermore offers to parents practical advice and a wide range of information material on positive discipline, such as leaflets and books on positive parenting. The very comprehensive and proactive work of the Children are Unbeatable Alliance has been contributing to keeping the issue of equal protection of children against assault on the public and political agenda in the UK.
Contact person: Peter Newell
If you want to inform and educate a broad variety of people on why children should be unbeatable, then take a look at the Help at Hand Toolkit! The Help at Hand Toolkit is a portfolio of materials designed to raise awareness about corporal punishment. It suggests a range of activities that can be used with different audiences (from children through to parents and professionals) to encourage them to think about why smacking is not ok, and why a legal ban on corporal punishment is so vital. On the website you will find all the resources. The toolkit was developed by ‘Sdim Curo Plant!, the Wales section of the British Children Are Unbeatable Alliance that is run by the Welsh umbrella organisation Children in Wales.
Contact Person: Sian R. Thomas
Email: sian.thomas [at] childreninwales.org.uk