National Projects of the Association
Project BRZO - Better Balance for Working Families
The project Better Balance for Working Familie #Work&Family (Bolja Ravnoteža za Zaposlene Obitelji – #Posao&Obitelj) has been carried out over the course of 2017 and 2018, in partnership with the Association “Pregnant Women and Parents’ Club” Split, along with the financial support of the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy.
The project is aimed at supporting families and working parents in order to achieve a balance between business and family relationships and has been carried out on the territory of the City of Zagreb and Split-Dalmatia County.
A survey has been conducted under the project with the aim to gain an insight into the challenges that working parents, as well as their employers, face in establishing a good balance between working and family life. The survey encompassed focus groups with parents and employers in the territories of the City of Zagreb and Split-Dalmatia County, as well as surveys in which 772 parents from all over Croatia participated. Survey results were presented as infographics through a perspective of challenges and possibilities of establishing a balance for working parents and employers.
The #Work&Family campaign was also carried out as part of the project, with the aim of informing the general public on the challenges and possibilities at the local level and best European practices on establishing a balance between working and family life.
Based on the activities that were carried out and the results of the survey, recommendations were drafted to develop establishing a balance between business and family life on the territory of the City of Zagreb and Split-Dalmatia County.
A STEP FOR YOUNG MOTHERS
The project “A Step for Young Mothers” (Korak za mlade majke) was created on the basis of experiences derived from the implementation of A MOM IS A MOM Programme until that time and was carried out from 2014 until 2016. The main goal of the project is to empower young mothers in adverse situations for independent life and their active participation in the community by ensuring appropriate peer support.
This project has educated and sensitised volunteers, students of social work and the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences to provide peer support to young mothers and has secured the preparation of young mothers who are leaving social welfare homes and starting to live independently by increasing their activity, personal competencies, and social skills.
The project “A Step for Young Mothers” has been carried out in cooperation with the Mothers’ Home of the Children’s Home Zagreb, the Department of Social Services Zagreb, and the Social Work Study Centre, along with the financial support of the City of Zagreb and the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth.
BRANCH OFFICES OF THE ASSOCIATION
In the period from 2007 to 2010, numerous activities and projects were carried out within the branch offices of the Parents’ Association “Step by Step”, namely, the Branch Office KOPRIVNICA and the Branch Office VARAŽDIN. The Branch Office in Koprivnica started working at the beginning of 2007 with the aim of gathering all those interested to improve the conditions for meeting the needs of the children, their creative development, and the support to families in taking care of the development and education of the children.
In the period from 2007 to 2010, with the financial support of the City of Koprivnica, the projects “Parenthood: Joy, Solicitude, Responsibility” and “The Challenges of Parenthood” were carried out.
The Branch Office in Varaždin started working at the beginning of 2007 with the aim of encouraging the development of more quality parenthood, particularly in Roma families. Over the course of 2008 and 2009, the project “Successful Together” was carried out, along with the financial support of the Ministry of Family, Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity and the Dutch Foundation CNF-CEE.
After 2010, the activities of branch offices slowly decline until they finally cease completely.
PREVENTION IN THE COMMUNITY
Project Prevention in the Community (Prevencija u zajednici) was carried out in 2017 and 2018 with the goal of improving the prevention of substance abuse by establishing a model of universal prevention in communities.
The project was carried out in partnership with the cities of Jastrebarsko, Sveti Ivan Zelina and Zaprešić, along with the financial support of the Office for Prevention of Drug Abuse, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy.
Over the course of the project activities, an assessment of readiness, needs and resources was drafted in 3 communities on the territory of Zagreb County with an emphasis on lowering the risk factors for substance abuse in children and youths, and key stakeholders from the local communities of the Council for Prevention, youths, local self-government units’ representatives, employees in the education system, police officers, social welfare institutions, associations, healthcare institutions and citizens were all included.
As a result of this project, local communities were strengthened and Action plans for the implementation of preventive programmes for addiction in children and youths were drafted in Jastrebarsko, Sveti Ivan Zelina and Zaprešić.
SCHOOL OPEN TO PARENTS
From 2006 to 2009, projects were carried out that were aimed at strengthening the active role of the parent and encouraging the development of the cooperation between parents and the school. Over the course of 2006, the project School Open to Parents (Škola otvorena roditljima) was carried out with its goal being to determine important elements of parent participation in the education system and to draft recommendations to strengthen the partnership between parents and the school. The survey was conducted among parents and teachers on a sample of 10 schools, while the results served to draft recommendations, as well as to develop different advocacy activities of the Association. The brochure “School Open to Parents” was published under this project, providing an overview of the results of the survey and recommendations to strengthen the cooperation between parents and the school.
Simultaneously, in 2006, as part of the project Parents – representatives of the children, financed by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, a training was conducted for the Parents’ Council and other interested parents on the skills of representing and advocating for the interests and the needs of children in 4 pilot-schools.
These projects, “School Open to Parents” and “Parents – representatives of the children”, were integrated into the project School Open to Parents, through which the Association encourages parents to actively advocate for the rights and the needs of the children in a series of workshops, as well as the strengthening of the partnership with the school and the local community. Over the course of 2007, with the support of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, a seminar was held for expert associates and teachers in primary schools who were interested to work with the parents with the aim of developing knowledge, skills and information that would make it easier for the parents to build partnerships with the school and the local community. Activities continued over the following years and in 2009, with the support of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development, 10 new schools were covered on the territory of 6 Croatian counties.