Towards a Caring Family for Every Child
The Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy and UNICEF, in cooperation with the Forum for Quality Foster Care, have announced the beginning of a national campaign entitled “Every Child Needs a Family”. The aim of the campaign is to increase the number of warm, caring foster families for children without adequate parental care.
According to the latest data of the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy, there are 2,259 children in foster families for children and youths. There are 814 children in homes for children without adequate parental care, where 169 live in housing communities as part of an organised housing programme with the support of educators and 90 are under three years of age. Growing up in institutions, no matter how much effort educators put in, cannot replace the experience of unique warm family care.
Nada Murganić, Minister for Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy, emphasised: “Aware that the family is the basic social unit in which children have their first contact with the world and that the family is the starting point on the path of growing up and that children’s development is predominantly affected by the family and relations within the family, the Ministry, in cooperation with UNICEF, is launching a campaign to promote foster care, so that each child without adequate parental care can live in a family. I take this opportunity to thank all foster parents and members of their families who have been enabling children and adults alike to live in their families, but also those who have exerted great efforts in the recent period to improve foster care. I invite all families that want to welcome children in their homes and to make it possible for them to grow up surrounded by love and in the warmth of a home to open their doors and to make children’s lives happier and more carefree.”
The national campaign “Every Child Needs a Family” will place special emphasis on securing family care for the youngest children.
“A caring family is the best environment for growing up. Numerous studies over the previous decades have shown that growing up in institutions is particularly adverse for the youngest children. Health-related and cognitive difficulties, stunted language and speech development, and behavioural problems are only some of the consequences of growing up in institutions. Therefore, we invite caring families that wish to and can provide warm, family settings for girls and boys who are not able to exercise that right in their biological families to open their hearts and doors,” Valentina Otmačić, Head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, said.
A free telephone line 0800 8282 was launched as part of the campaign, which citizens interested in foster care can use to obtain all the information they need.
The beginning of the national campaign “Every Child Needs a Family” was marked by UNICEF’s humanitarian Milky Way run. The race was held on Sunday, 9 September, under the auspices of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb, and with the support of Kaufland, Tele2, and Zagrebački Holding.
Revenues from the entry fees collected in the Milky Way run will be used to procure equipment for foster families taking care of the youngest children and for their education. UNICEF, in cooperation with the Ministry for Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Policy, will procure strollers, car seats, cots, changing tables, feeding chairs, and other equipment needed by the youngest children and by the foster families taking care of them.
Video “Every Child Needs a Family”