Activities & events

“Understanding and supporting the parents, today” (7-11 July 2015, Băișoara, Cluj)

Fundația Copiii Noștri(Foundation Our Children), ) in partnership with the Swiss organization Formation des Parents-CH (Lausanne, Switzerland) organized the Training seminar no.1 for 20 Romanian professionals with the title “Understanding and supporting the parents, today”. The seminar took place between the 7th and the 11th of July 2015, in the locality of Băișoara, Cluj County

The objective of the seminar was to promote efficient methods of working with parents and parenting education in general as a means of support for those parents who are confronted with increasingly complex issues relating to educating and communicating with the child, as well as the transfer of experience from the Swiss partner to the Romanian professionals.

Participants at the seminar

The trainers for this seminar were Mrs Gabrielle Heller, trainer for the parents` group and member of the steering committee of “Formation des Parents – CH” and Mrs Viviane Fenter, the Romande secretary of the “Formation des Parents – CH” organization.

The participants were 20 teachers from the preschool education system from the counties of Cluj, Alba, Mureș, Bihor and Sălaj.

Conclusions of the seminar

All participants considered that they have acquired new knowledge in parenting education and declared that they are able to organize meetings with parents on the topics which were presented in the seminar. The participants were also very satisfied with the performance of the trainers and thought that the seminar was an important transfer of experience between the Swiss and Romanian professionals.

All 20 participants have expressed their wish to continue their activity in the project and to organize different activities in their areas, with most of the participants expressing their wish to participate in other trainings organized by Fundația Copiii Noștri, on themes related to the project “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”.




“Understanding and supporting the parents, today” (31 August – 05 September, Sinaia, Prahova)

Federația Organizațiilor Neguvernamentale pentru Copil (The Federation of Non-governmental Organisations for Children), in partnership with the Swiss organization Formation des Parents-CH (Lausanne, Switzerland) organized the Training seminar no.2 with the title “Understanding and supporting the parents, today”. The seminar took place between 31 August – 05 September in Sinaia, Prahova County.

The objective of the seminar was to promote efficient methods of working with parents and parenting education in general as a means of support for those parents who are confronted with increasingly complex issues relating to educating and communicating with the child, as well as the transfer of experience from the Swiss partner to the Romanian professionals.

Participants at the seminar

The trainers were 20 professionals from various NGOs (some of them members of FONPC) and from DGASPCs, as well as educators from the preschool education system of Bucharest and from the counties of Sibiu, Timișoara, Dolj, Călărași, Buzău, Ialomița, Ilfov, Prahova.

The participants were 20 professionals from various NGOs (some of them members of FONPC) and from DGASPCs, as well as educators from the preschool education system of Bucharest and from the counties of Sibiu, Timișoara, Dolj, Călărași, Buzău, Ialomița, Ilfov, Prahova.

Conclusions of the seminar

Most of the participants considered that they have acquired new knowledge in parenting education as well as new communication abilities. The participants also thought they were able to organize meetings with the parents and that they will apply the methods learned during the seminar in the future. All 20 participants were very satisfied with the trainers` professionalism and with the quality of the teaching methods.

All participants have expressed their wish to continue to participate in the project and to organize round tables and community meetings in their areas.




“Understanding and supporting the parents, today” (12 – 16 October 2015, Bușteni, Prahova)

Fundația Copiii Noștri (Foundation Our Children) in partnership with the Swiss organization Formation des Parents-CH (Lausanne, Switzerland) organized the training seminar no.3 with the title “Understanding and supporting the parents, today” for 20 Romanian professionals. The seminar took place in the period 12 – 16 October 2015, in the locality Bușteni, Prahova County.

The objective of the seminar was to promote efficient methods of working with parents and parenting education in general as a means of support for those parents who are confronted with increasingly complex issues relating to educating and communicating with the child, as well as the transfer of experience from the Swiss partner to the Romanian professionals.

 

Participants at the seminar

The trainers trainers for this seminar were Mrs Kirsten Kirschner, psychologist, and Mr Prof. Dr. Dieter Schurch, president of the Swiss organisation “Formation des Parents – CH”.

The participants were 20 teachers from the preschool education system of the counties of Brăila, Buzău, Călăraşi, Constanța, Dâmbovița, Galați, Ilfov and Ialomița.

Conclusions of the seminar

Most of the participants declared they acquired more knowledge on parenting education and new communication abilities and that they are able to organize meetings with parents on the topics presented during the seminar and apply the methods learned during the seminar. Most of the participants were very satisfied with the performance of the trainers and have expressed their wish to continue their activity in the project and to organize either community meetings or round tables in the areas where they are living or working.




Conference for the launch of the project “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education” ( 26 – 27 May 2015, Bucharest)

Fundația Copiii Noștri (Foundation Our Children) in partnership with Federația Organizațiilor Neguvernamentale pentru Copil (The Federation of Non-governmental Organisations for Children), and the Swiss organisation Formation des Parents-CH (Lausanne, Switzerland) organized the Conference for the launch of the project “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”, co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union. The conference took place on the 26th and 27th of May 2015, at the Ibis Hotel Gara de Nord

The objective of the conference was to bring to debate the important theme of parenting education and to publicly launch the project „Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”.

Participants at the conference

In total, the conference had 91 participants out of 73 that were invited.

Among the participants there were:

  • Mr Thomas STAUFFER, Head of the Swiss Contribution Office in Bucharest;
  • Prof. Dr. Mr Dieter SCHURCH, Psychologist and Doctor in Communication Sciences, member of the Swiss UNESCO Committee for preschool children, President of Formation des Parents CH;
  • Mrs Chantal BASTIN, Clinical psychologist, member of the Administrative Council, International federation for Parenting Education /Federation Internationale pour l’Education des Parents;
  • Mr Marian BOJINCA, Project Manager, Civil Society Development Foundation (CSDF).

The representatives of governmental authorities that participated at the conference were:

  • Mrs Liliana PREOTEASA, Under – Secretary of State, Ministry of Education and Scientific Research;
  • Mrs Gabriela COMAN, President, The National Authority for the Protection of Children`s Rights and Adoption;
  • Mrs Adina CODREȘ, Psychologist, Superior Counselor, Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly, The National Authority for the Protection of Children`s Rights and Adoption.

Conclusions of the conference

  • The conference attended its objectives. As part of the visibility plan of the project it represented an important event for promoting the project and the co-financing source from the Swiss – Romanian Cooperation Fund.
  • The participation of the Head of the Swiss Contribution Office in Bucharest, Mr. Thomas Stauffer, as well as of the President of the Swiss partner – Formation des Parents – CH, Prof. Dr. Mr. Dieter Schurch, was an important advantage for the conference.
  • The presence of important officials from the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research and from the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption brought to the conference important information concerning curent and future public policies for the Development Program for Romania during the period 2014 – 2020.
  • All presentations from the speakers were positively evaluated by participants, most of them declaring that the presentations were „very interesting”.
  • Two media representatives participated to the press conference and on the 27th of May, Mediafax published an article which annouced the event and the launching of the project, as well as the financing source.




Round table ,,Parenting education – steps into the future”

Fundația Copiii Noștri (Foundation Our Children), in partnership with the City Hall and Local Council of Luduș, Mureș County, The Christian - Cultural Association ,,Sfinții Împărați Constantin și Elena" and the Mureș County School Inspectorate, organized the round table ,,Parenting education - steps into the future", which took place at the Kindergarten ,,Căsuța fermecată", str. Crinului, no. 38 in the city of Luduș, Mureș county, on the 26th of November 2016.

 

The round table was organized with the assistance of UNICEF Romania and is a part of the project "Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education", which is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the extended European Union.

 

The general objective of the project is to improve the public policies for parenting education through the promotion of the National Strategy for Parenting Education, aiming to create a support system for parents, based on modern principles in education and the encouragement for parents to assume an active role in the education of the child.

  

The objective of the round table  was to promote the strategy for parenting education and offer the opportunity to organise a debate concerning support services for parenting support on local level.

 

The round table was an occasion to debate a few important aspects of parenting education and the elaboration of a National Strategy for Parenting Education which could represent a coherent legal framework for parenting support services which are adequate, flexibile and accesible to all categories of parents.

 

A few of the subjects proposed for debate were:

  

  • Why is parenting education necessary? Are today`s parents prepared to educate their children in a manner that is adequate to the society we live in?
  • Authorities and institutions which could have responsabilities in the field of parenting education
  • The relationship between kindergarten/ school and family as one of the most important links in the "chain" of the armonious development of the child and of his success.
  • Education is not only the parents` concern but the concern of the whole society because of its pivotal role in preparing the child for his life inside a society; the purpose of education is to give the child strength, to help him/her build his/her future, to surpass difficulties and to face challenges.
  • Because parenting abilities are not innate, the parents have a right to support.

  

Participants

 

26 participants attended the round table.  Among the participants there were teachers, local councilors, social workers, representatives of the Roma community, representatives of the church, the School Inspector for early education in the County of Mureș, a representative of the City Hall of Luduș, the president of The Christian - Cultural Association ,,Sfinții Împărați Constantin și Elena", parents and representatives of Fundația Copiii Noștri.

 

Programme

The event took place according to the following programme:

 9.30 - 10.00  Welcoming and registration of guests. Distribution of the informative materials

10.00 - 10.10  Opening of the event, presentation of the participants - Prof. Ana Pandrea

10.10 - 10.30 Presentation of the project "Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education" - Ms. Adina Ovedenie, Fundaţia Copiii Noştri

10.30 - 10.45 Partners` speech - Prof. Irina Trifan, School Inspector of early education

10.45 - 11.00 Partners` speech - Mr. Liviu Botezan, Vice mayor of Luduș

11.00 - 11.15 Partners` speech - Prof. Viorel Ormenişan, President of The Christian - Cultural Association ,,Sfinții Împărați Constantin și Elena"

11.15 - 11.30 Coffee break

11.30 - 12.30 Debates. Ideas exchange, propositions - Prof. Ana Pandrea and guests

12.30 - 12.40 Conclusions and the closing of the event

 

QUESTIONNAIRES' EVALUATION

 

The evaluation of the meeting was performed using an evaluation form of 8 questions, open - ended or with multiple choice answers. The purpose of the evaluation form was to obtain data that would give a general image of the event, from the point of view of the participants.

The answers of the respondents are detailed below, for each question:

 

1. In your opinion, is parenting education and support for parents in educating the child a priority? (YES/NO)

All the respondents agreed that parenting education and support for parents in educating the child is a priority.

 

2. Which activities for promoting a national strategy for parenting education could be most important  at a general level and locally, in your town/county?

The respondents gave multiple suggestions for activities that could best promote a national strategy at a general level, as well as locally. One of the most common suggestions was the organization of meetings, with interactive activities, with parents, children and various specialists.  Another common suggestion was to promote the Strategy through the involvement of local authorities. Other proposed activities included the distribution of informative materials and parenting courses.

 

3.   Which of the following measures should be at the disposal of the parents in order to help them in educating their children?

  • Informative materials
  • Thematic meetings (on request)
  • Structured courses, accesible to all categories of parents
  • Radio/TV shows and other media
  • Online courses for parents
  • Parenting education platforms
  • Other, please specify........................

 

The top choices of the respondents were Structured courses, accesible to all categories of parents, Informative materials and Online courses for parents. All the other categories closely followed, being chosen by a majority of the participants. As such, we can conclude that the participants to the round table feel that parents should have as many resources as possible in order to help them educate their children.

 

4.   Which institutions should, in your opinion, be involved in the implementation of a coherent strategy for parenting education?

The majority of the respondents answered that the school should be involved in the implementation of a strategy for parenting education. The second most frequent answer was The Local Council, which was followed by NGOs. Other suggestions included the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Health and The Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly. A few participants also listed the General Direction of Social Work and Child Protection and Hospitals.

 

5.   In your opinion, are a special training and the creation of a specific ocupation in COR (Classification of Occupations Romania) for "parenting educator" needed? 

   All of the respondents answered "Yes" to this question.

 

6.  If your answered NO to the previous question, please state which categories of professionals should be responsible with educating/informing/counseling the parents in concern to educating the child inside the family:

  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists
  • School counselors
  • Family doctors
  • Nurses
  • School mediators
  • Others, please specify: ................................................

None of the participants answered this question since they answered YES to the previous question.

 

7.   Do you think this meeting has reached its objective to contribute to the elaboration of a strategy in the field of parenting education, at a general or local level?

       All of the respondents agreed that the meeting has reached its objective. 

8.   Please rate the organisation of this meeting:

     All of the respondents rated the meeting as being very well organized.

Conclusions:

 

-  Parenting education and support for parents in educating the child is a priority.

-  The most important activities to promote a national strategy for parenting education could be organization of  meeting with interactive activities with the parents, children and various specialists and the involvement of local authorities. 

-  It is necessary to train as many professionals as possible to become parenting educators.

  It is necessary to create a specific ocupation in COR (Classification of Occupations Romania) for "parenting educator"

-  The relationship between kindergarten and family is one of the most important links in the "chain" of the armonious development of the child and of his success.

 

-  Institutions which shoul be involved in the implementation of a coherent strategy for parenting education are schools, the Local Council Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly.

The discussions among the participants underlined the importance of a Strategy for Parenting Education, of parenting courses, as well as the more active involvement of both of the parents in the education of children. Also, most of the participants think that parenting education should be available to adolescents and soon-to-be parents.



Community meeting “Parenting education face to face with the risks of school dropout”

Fundația Copiii Noștri (Foundation Our Children) in partnership with the Gymnasial School no.136, sector 5, Bucharest,  organized the community meeting with the title "Parenting education face to face with the risks of school dropout", which took place at the Gymnasial School no.136, Prelungirea Ferentari Street, nr. 69, on the 8th of November 2016. 

The community meeting was organized as part of the project "Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education", which is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the extended European Union.

The general objective of the project is to improve the public policies for parenting education through the promotion of the National Strategy for Parenting Education, aiming to create a support system for parents, based on modern principles in education and the encouragement for parents to assume an active role in the education of the child.

The objective of the community meeting was to disscuss problems concerning the need of parenting support and services necessary to prevent school abandon.

A few of the subjects proposed for debate were:

-       Are today`s parents prepared to educate their children in a manner that is adequate to the society we live in?

-       The relationship between kindergarten and family as one of the most important links in the "chain" of the armonious development of the child and of his success.

-       Education is not only the parents` concern but the concern of the whole society because of its pivotal role in preparing the child for his life inside a society; the purpose of education is to give the child strength, to help him/her build his/her future, to surpass difficulties and to face challenges.

-       The authorities or institutions which could have attributions in the field of parenting education.

-       Because parenting abilities are not innate, the parents have a right to support.

 

Participants

30 participants attended the community meeting.  The representatives of governmental authorities that participated at the conference were Mrs. Viorica PREDA, General Inspector for Preschool Education, Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research and Gheorghe ȘTEFAN, local counselor for the City Hall of sector 5, Bucharest, Inspectors from the School inspectorate of sector 1, 4 and 5, directors of schools and kindergarten.  Other participants were parents, teachers, representatives of NGOs

 

Programme

The event took place according to the programe established in colaboration with the School Inspectorate:

12.00 - 12.10: Welcome speech and introduction of the speakers, Mrs. Laura Verde, Director, Gymnasial School no. 136.

12.10 - 12.20:  Presentation of the project and of the parenting programmes developed by Fundația Copiii Noștri, Mrs. Martha Iliescu, Project manager

12.20 - 12.45: Conclusions of the "Research study regarding parenting education and the need of support services for parents"- Mrs.Viorica Preda, General Inspector for Preschool Education, MENCS

12. 45 - 13.00: The necessity of parenting education for parents with children who attend preschool in Sector 1, Bucharest, Mrs. Georgeta Iordache, Inspector

13.00 - 13.15: The importance of parenting education in preventing school dropout, Mrs. Petronela Curcan, Kindergarten no.1 Măgurele, Ilfov

13.15 - 14.00 : Debates and questions

14.00 - 14 15: Conclusions and evaluation

  

QUESTIONNAIRES' EVALUATION

The evaluation of the meeting was performed using an evaluation form of 9 questions, open - ended or with multiple choice answers. The purpose of the evaluation form was to obtain data that would give a general image of the event, from the point of view of the participants.

The answers of the respondents are detailed below, for each question:

1.     In your opinion, is parenting education and support for parents in educating the child a priority? (YES/NO)

All the respondents agreed that parenting education and support for parents in educating the child is a priority.

2.   Which activities for promoting a national strategy for parenting education could be most important  at a general level and locally, in your town/county?

          The respondents gave multiple suggestions for activities that could best promote a national strategy at a general level, as well as locally. One of the most common suggestions was the organization of meetings, with interactive activities, with the parents. Another common suggestion was to promote the Strategy at a governmental level. Other proposed activities included partnerships with NGOs and government authorities, promotion through the media (radio, TV) and parenting courses.    

3.   Which of the following measures should be at the disposal of the parents in order to help them in educating their children?

  • Informative materials
  • Thematic meetings (on request)
  • Structured courses, accesible to all categories of parents
  • Radio/TV shows and other media
  • Online courses for parents
  • Parenting education platforms
  • Other, please specify........................

       The top choices of the respondents were Structured courses, accesible to all categories of parents, Informative materials and Parenting education platforms. Only 3 respondents chose the Online courses for parents option.

4.   In your opinion, which are the most important needs of a parent, in order to give his children an appropriate education in the family?    

      The most frequent answer from the respondents was "Education/ information".  Another common answer among the respondents referred to the  relationship between parents and children - as such, the respondents thought parents need to know their children, to spend more time with them and to have at least a basic knowledge of child psychology and social psychology. Other respondents thought the most important need of a parent is to be guided and counseled. This could be helped by improving the relationship with their children`s teachers.

      A small but significant percentage of the respondents felt like it is imperative for a parent to learn to be responsible, to have good role-models in the community and to know their own needs. Another small percentage of the respondents focused on the material aspect saying that, first of all, parents need jobs and financial balance. Last but not least, one respondent underlined the importance of a legal framework which would support the parents` effort of educating their children.

5.   Which institutions should, in your opinion, be involved in the implementation of a coherent strategy for parenting education?

      The majority of the respondents answered that the school should be involved in the implementation of a strategy for parenting education. The second most frequent answer was The Local Counsel, which was followed by the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Health and The Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly. A few participants also listed the General Direction of Social Work and Child Protection as an institution which should be involved. Other suggestions included NGOs and the family doctor. 

6.   In your opinion, are a special training and the creation of a specific ocupation in COR (Classification of Occupations Romania) for "parenting educator" needed? 

   The majority of respondents, except one, answered "Yes" to this question.

7.  If your answered NO to the previous question, please state which categories of professionals should be responsible with educating/informing/counseling the parents in concern to educating the child inside the family:

  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists
  • School counselors
  • Family doctors
  • Nurses
  • School mediators
  • Others, please specify: ................................................

The one respondent who answered "No" to the previous question chose Teachers, Social Workers, Psychologists and School mediators as the professionals who should have the responsibility of parenting education.

 

8.   Do you think this meeting has reached its objective to contribute to the elaboration of a strategy in the field of parenting education, at a general or local level?

       The majority of respondents agreed that the meeting has reached its objective, with only two respondents choosing to answer that the meeting had moderately reached its objective.

9.   Please rate the organisation of this meeting:

      The majority of the respondents rated the meeting as being very well organized, with only three respondents rating is as „fairly well organized".

Conclusions:

 

-  Parenting education and support for parents in educating the child is a priority.

 

-  The most important activities to promote a national strategy for parenting education could be organization of thematic meetings, interactive activities with the parents, distribute promotional and informative materials like flyers, banners and to promote the strategy through the media.

 

-  It is necessary to train as many professionals as possible to become parenting educators.

 

-  It is necessary to create a specific ocupation in COR (Classification of Occupations Romania) for "parenting educator"

 

-  The relationship between kindergarten and family is one of the most important links in the "chain" of the armonious development of the child and of his success.

 

-  Institutions which should be involved in the implementation of a coherent strategy for parenting education are the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, and the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly.



Community meeting “The need of support services for parents reflected in the National Strategy for Parenting Education”

Fundația Copiii Noștri (Foundation Our Children) in partnership with „Căsuța Copilăriei" Kindergarten in Buftea, Ilfov County, organized the community meeting with the title "The need of support services for parents reflected in the National Strategy for Parenting Education", which took place at the location of „Căsuța Copilăriei" Kindergarten, Aleea Școlii no.4, Buftea, Ilfov County, on 11th of November 2016.

The community meeting was organized as part of the project "Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education", which is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the extended European Union.

The general objective of the project is to improve the public policies for parenting education through the promotion of the National Strategy for Parenting Education, aiming to create a support system for parents, based on modern principles in education and the encouragement for parents to assume an active role in the education of the child.

The objective of the community meeting was to promote the Strategy of Parenting Education and parents' support services in rural and small urban communities. This activity will enlarge the visibility of the project at the "grass root" level. Parents living in rural areas or in small cities such as Buftea will become informed. These meetings contribute to reduce the disparities between rural and urban areas concerning high quality services to support parents' efforts in child education. New mentalities regarding child education are promoted for changing old mentalities based on child physical or psychological punishments. 

A few of the subjects proposed for debate were:

-       Are today`s parents prepared to educate their children in a manner that is adequate to the society we live in?

-       The relationship between kindergarten and family as one of the most important links in the "chain" of the harmonious development of the child and of his success.

-       Education is not only the parents` concern but the concern of the whole society because of its pivotal role in preparing the child for his life inside a society; the purpose of education is to give the child strength, to help him/her build his/her future, to surpass difficulties and to face challenges.

-       The authorities or institutions which could have attributions in the field of parenting education.

-       Because parenting abilities are not innate, the parents have a right to support.

 

Participants

25 participants attended the community meeting. The participants were teachers from various kindergartens and schools in the Ilfov and Bucharest areas: "Căsuța Copilăriei" Kindergarten (Buftea, Ilfov county), „Ion Olteanu" Primary School (Chitila, Ilfov County), Kindergarten no. 2 (Voluntari, Ilfov county), Kindergarten no. 1 (Otopeni, Ilfov County), Kindergarten no. 2 (Otopeni, Ilfov County), „Rază de Soare" Kindergarten (Buftea, Ilfov county), Gymnasial School no. 1 (Mogoșoaia, Ilfov county), „Panda" Kindergarten (Buftea, Ilfov county), „Iani`s Club" Kindergarten (Buftea, Ilfov County), „Dumitru Dumitrescu" Highschool (Buftea, Ilfov county),  Kindergarten no. 206 Bucharest, „Dumitru Moțoc" School Bucharest, "Tamasi" Kindergarten (Corbeanca, Ilfov county), Balotești Kindergarten (Balotești, Ilfov County).

 

QUESTIONNAIRES' EVALUATION

The evaluation of the meeting was performed using an evaluation form of 9 questions, open - ended or with multiple choice answers. The purpose of the evaluation form was to obtain data that would give a general image of the event, from the point of view of the participants.

The answers of the respondents are detailed below, for each question:

1.     In your opinion, is parenting education and support for parents in educating the child a priority? (YES/NO)

All the respondents agreed that parenting education and support for parents in educating the child is a priority.

2.   Which activities for promoting a national strategy for parenting education could be most important  at a general level and locally, in your town/county?

          The respondents gave multiple suggestions for activities that could best promote a national strategy at a general level, as well as locally. One of the most common suggestions was the organization of meetings, with interactive activities, with the parents. Another common suggestion was to promote the Strategy at a governmental level. Other proposed activities included partnerships with NGOs and government authorities, promotion through the media (radio, TV) and parenting courses.   

3.   Which of the following measures should be at the disposal of the parents in order to help them in educating their children?

  • Informative materials
  • Thematic meetings (on request)
  • Structured courses, accesible to all categories of parents
  • Radio/TV shows and other media
  • Online courses for parents
  • Parenting education platforms
  • Other, please specify........................

 

       The top choices of the respondents were Structured courses, accesible to all categories of parents, Informative materials and Parenting education platforms. Only 3 respondents chose the Online courses for parents option.

4.   In your opinion, which are the most important needs of a parent, in order to give his children an appropriate education in the family?    

      The most frequent answer from the respondents was "Education/ information".  Another common answer among the respondents referred to the  relationship between parents and children - as such, the respondents thought parents need to know their children, to spend more time with them and to have at least a basic knowledge of child psychology and social psychology. Other respondents thought the most important need of a parent is to be guided and counseled. This could be helped by improving the relationship with their children`s teachers.

      A small but significant percentage of the respondents felt like it is imperative for a parent to learn to be responsible, to have good role-models in the community and to know their own needs. Another small percentage of the respondents focused on the material aspect saying that, first of all, parents need jobs and financial balance. Last but not least, one respondent underlined the importance of a legal framework which would support the parents` effort of educating their children.

5.   Which institutions should, in your opinion, be involved in the implementation of a coherent strategy for parenting education?

      The majority of the respondents answered that the school should be involved in the implementation of a strategy for parenting education. The second most frequent answer was The Local Counsel, which was followed by the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Health and The Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly. A few participants also listed the General Direction of Social Work and Child

Protection as an institution which should be involved. Other suggestions included NGOs and the family doctor. 

6.   In your opinion, are a special training and the creation of a specific ocupation in COR (Classification of Occupations Romania) for "parenting educator" needed? 

   The majority of respondents, except one, answered "Yes" to this question.

7.  If your answered NO to the previous question, please state which categories of professionals should be responsible with educating/informing/counseling the parents in concern to educating the child inside the family:

  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists
  • School counselors
  • Family doctors
  • Nurses
  • School mediators
  • Others, please specify: ................................................

The one respondent who answered "No" to the previous question chose Teachers, Social Workers, Psychologists and School mediators as the professionals who should have the responsibility of parenting education.

8.   Do you think this meeting has reached its objective to contribute to the elaboration of a strategy in the field of parenting education, at a general or local level?

       The majority of respondents agreed that the meeting has reached its objective, with only two respondents choosing to answer that the meeting had moderately reached its objective.

9.   Please rate the organisation of this meeting:

                The majority of the respondents rated the meeting as being very well organized, with only three respondents rating is as „fairly well organized".



Community meeting with professionals in Ploiesti, county Prahova

Fundația Copiii Noștri in partnership with the School Inspectorate of Prahova county organized a community meeting with professionals, which took place at on the 21st of January 2017 at Kindergarten no. 28,  Mărășești Street no. 58, Ploiești, Prahova County.

The community meeting was organized as part of the project "Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education", which is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the extended European Union.

The general objective of the project is to improve the public policies for parenting education through the promotion of the National Strategy for Parenting Education, aiming to create a support system for parents, based on modern principles in education and the encouragement for parents to assume an active role in child' education.

The objective of the community meeting is to promote the Strategy of Parenting Education and parents' support services in rural and small urban communities. This activity increased the visibility of the project at the "grass root" level. Professionals working in rural areas of Prahova county, like the villages of Coșerele, Priseaca Schiulești, Dîrvari, Olarii Vechi, Buzota, Podenii Noi, Poienarii Burchii, in communes like Bucov and Gornet Cuib, and in small towns such as Urlați, Mizil and Plopeni, became informed. These meetings contribute to reduce the disparities between rural and urban areas concerning high quality services to support parents' efforts in child education. New mentalities regarding child education are promoted for changing old mentalities based on child physical or psychological punishments. 

A few of the subjects proposed for debate were:

-       Are today`s parents prepared to educate their children in a manner that is adequate to the    society we live in?

-       The relationship between kindergarten and family as one of the most important links in the "chain" of the harmonious development of the child and of his success.

-       Education is not only the parents` concern but the concern of the whole society because of its pivotal role in preparing the child for his life inside a society;

-       The purpose of education is to give the child strength, to help him/her build his/her future, to surpass difficulties and to face challenges.

-       The need to include parenting education in the general policy concerning child protection, education and health.

-       Priorities  to be taken in account for establishing a national strategy for parenting education

-       The authorities or institutions which could have attributions in the field of parenting education.

-       Because parenting abilities are not innate, the parents have a right to support.

 

Participants

39 participants attended the community meeting. The participants were teachers and principals from various kindergartens and schools in Prahova county and a school Inspector representing the School Inspectorate of Prahova county.

QUESTIONNAIRES' EVALUATION

The evaluation of the meeting was performed using an evaluation form of 9 questions, open - ended or with multiple choice answers. The purpose of the evaluation form was to obtain data that would give a general image of the event, from the point of view of the participants.

The answers of the respondents are detailed below, for each question:

1.     In your opinion, is parenting education and support for parents in educating the child a priority? (YES/NO)

All the respondents agreed that parenting education and support for parents in educating the child is a priority.

2.   Which activities for promoting a national strategy for parenting education could be most important  at a general level and locally, in your town/county?

     The respondents had a few suggestions for activities that could best promote a national strategy at a national and local level. One of the most common suggestion was to organize themed meetings for parents, in kindergartens and schools. Other suggestions included the use of informative flyers, banners and media appearances and the training, in parenting education, of different types of professionals which would work with the parents in their respective communities.      

3.   Which of the following measures should be at the disposal of the parents in order to help them in educating their children?

  • Informative materials
  • Thematic meetings
  • Structured courses, accesible to all categories of parents
  • Radio/TV shows and other media
  • Online courses for parents
  • Parenting education platforms
  • Other, please specify........................

       The top choices of the respondents were Structured courses, accesible to all categories of parents, Informative materials and Thematic meetings. The least preferred option was Parenting education platforms. The respondents did not suggest other measures than the ones listed above.

 

4.   In your opinion, which are the most important needs of a parent, in order to give his children an appropriate education in the family?    

      The most frequent answers from the respondents were "Information" and "Time with the child". Most of the participants shared the opinion that a parent must be counseled, guided and informed about the needs of the child at every age.

5.   Which institutions should, in your opinion, be involved in the implementation of a coherent strategy for parenting education?

      A majority of the respondents shared the opinion that kindergartens/schools should be involved in the implementation of a strategy for parenting education. The second most frequent answer was the Ministry of National Education, followed by The County Centre for Resources and Educational Assistance,The Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly. A few participants also listed NGOs as institutions that should be involved in the strategy`s implementation.

6.   In your opinion, are a special training and the creation of a specific ocupation in COR (Classification of Occupations Romania) for "parenting educator" needed? 

   Most of the respondents answered "Yes" to this question.

7.  If your answered NO to the previous question, please state which categories of professionals should be responsible with educating/informing/counseling the parents in concern to educating the child inside the family:

  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists
  • School counselors
  • Family doctors
  • Nurses
  • School mediators
  • Others, please specify: ................................................

The respondents who answered this question believe teachers, social workers and school counselors and psychologist should educate and inform parents.

8.   Do you think this meeting has reached its objective to contribute to the elaboration of a strategy in the field of parenting education, at a general or local level?

       All respondents agreed that the meeting has reached its objective. 

9.   Please rate the organisation of this meeting:

      All of the respondents rated the meeting as being very well organized.

  

The most important conclusions of the meeting:

  • Parenting education and support for parents in educating the child is a priority.
  •  The most important activities to promote a national strategy for parenting education could be organization of thematic meetings, the distribution of informative materials like flyers, banners or to promote the strategy through the media.
  • It is necessary to train as many professionals as possible as parenting educators. It is necessary to create a specific occupation in COR (Classification of Occupations Romania) for "parenting educator".
  • Institutions which should be involved in the implementation of a coherent strategy for parenting education are the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly.



Study trip organized for the Romanian professionals who traveled to Switzerland

Formation des Parents-CH (Lausanne, Switzerland), in partnership with Fundația Copiii Noștri and with the Federation of Non-governmental Organisations for Children, organized a study trip for 6 Romanian professionals who traveled to Switzerland in the period of 16 to 21 October 2016.

The study trip is part of the project "Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education", which is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the extended European Union.

The objective of the study trip was to learn about Swiss models, services and strategies for parenting support  in Switzerland and to contribute to a reciprocal exchange of information, skills and professional experience between the Romanian professionals  and the partner organization  "FORMATION DES PARENTS CH" and with other Swiss organizations working with parents: "Ecole des Parents de Genève, Switzerland, "Ecole des Grands Parents" Lausanne, "Education Familiale" Fribourg.  It was an opportunity to learn about the general framework of education in Switzerland, new methods and instruments. Some of the results and conclusions of this study trip will be included in the National Strategy for Parenting Education in Romania.

The Romanian delegation had 6 participants, as follows:

  • Mrs. Martha Iliescu, President of Fundatia Copiii Nostri and project manager of the project "Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education, member of the Steering Committee for the elaboration of the National Strategy for Parenting Education
  • Ms. Adina Ovedenie - Financial manager of Fundația Copiii Noștri
  • Mrs. Daniela Gheorghe - Executive Director of the Federation of NGOs for Children, project manager for the FONPC partner and member of the Steering Committee for the elaboration of the National Strategy for Parenting Education
  • Ms. Raluca Toth - Project assistant Fundația Copiii Noștri and English - Romanian translator
  • Mrs. Nicoleta Dudău - Project assistant Fundația Copiii Noștri
  • Ms. Gabriela Udrea - Project assistant FONPC

 

The schedule of the study trip was arranged by the representative of the partner Formation des Parents CH and agreed with all partners in the delegation. The Romanian delegation visited organisations that have parenting education and family support or family research as a main activity. The delegation had also meetings with local government representatives that presented their work methods and activities in this field.

The most important and relevant ideas that were gathered by the Romanian representatives are as follows:

  • At Maison Verte ‘Aux 4 Coins' - Renens, the Romanian delegation met with Mrs. Karine Rebecchi, a professional specialized in migrants issues, who is now one of the facilitators ("accuilants", which would literally mean "greeters") at Maison Verte.

Maison Verte is a programme designed for children between 0 and 5 years old and their parents, build around the principles of Françoise Dolto, a French pediatrician and psychoanalyst. Maison Verte has an "open-door" policy, where parents come to play and be with their children, as often as they like, in the company of two facilitators, „accuilants", who observe the activities as well as the relationship between parent and child.

The location of the Maison Verte is suited for older children as well as toddlers, with areas that accomodate their need for socialization, learning, play and care. The location is also designed as a place where parents can relax and interact with their children in various ways (resting, playing, reading etc), but also with other parents.

The programme is free of charge and it is funded by the local authorities. However, the programme requires parents to contribute a small, symbolic fee of 1 CHF. The parents can also contribute by bringing children`s books or second-hand clothes at Maison Verte.

Maison Verte welcomes all parents as well as future parents and promots the inclusion of parents of different nationalities. As such, the facilitators usually use different languages in communicating with the parents. Maison Verte has a clear policy of ,,page blanche", meaning they follow the principle of non-judgement when it comes to interacting with the parents. Another principle is not interfering in the personal lives of the parents, although they do offer counseling for the parents when they are solicited. The Maison Verte personnel also informs the parents about the programmes, courses and facilities in the community.

The professionals who work at Maison Verte are supervised by a psychologist, while most of them are themselves psychologists.

Maison Verte respects the principle of confidentiality but they do reserve the right to report abuse to the proper authorities if they have serious reasons to believe such situations exist. 

 

  • The delegation then met Mr. Jean-Bernard Siggen, in charge of prevention at the Brigade for minors, Cantonal Police Department, Fribourg. Mr. Jean-Bernard Siggen, a former school mediator, became a civilian police officer in charge of prevention, working in schools with children and adolescents as well as parents and teachers. The prevention activities focus mainly on informing the students about the rights and obligations they have, about the laws they need to respect and about the dangers and consequences of the consumption of drugs and alcohol and of other crimes. The children, parents and teachers are informed through periodical visits at schools and various campaigns.

Mr. Siggen gave the delegation a comprehensive presentation concerning the structure and the activities of the Brigade for minors, as well as the legal context in which it exists.

 

  • At Ecole des parents de Genève, the delegation met Mrs. Katharina Schindler, the Director of the organisation. Mrs. Schindler explained the activities and work methods within the organisation. Ecole des Parents Genève, which is an association, operates with funding provided by the government, which is based on a yearly contract with the state authorities. The contract is negotiated for activities proposed by the organisation, after a careful consideration of the needs of the parents. As such, the organisation does not operate with a formal needs assessment but rather with direct observation of the work done with the parents.

The organization has a multidisciplinary team which collaborates with other professionals who interact with the parents.

The activities for the parents are designed with inclusion in mind: Geneva is a multicultural city so the programme needs to be accessible to all parents, with different methods adapted to the specific culture of the parents.

Some activities are free of charge while other activities charge a fee. For parents who cannot afford the fee, the association has a solidarity fund which covers the costs.

Usually, parents first come into contact with the organisation by using the free of charge helpline. For 2 hours/day, a psychologist is available to answer questions from the parents and give them counseling. Another free service is a type of mobile team which offers services to vulnerable parents and migrant parents. In these types of communities, one of the organisation`s main purposes is to facilitate socialization, especially since many migrants are separated from their families in their countries of origin. The principle behind the mobile team is that it is easier to reach parents in their communities than to expect them to come to the organisation`s main location. As such, the organisation holds meetings and various types of activities in schools and in a centre for victims of domestic violence.

 

Some of the activities of the organisation include:

- La Bougette, where children of 0-3 years old play in a specially designed area, while being supervised by two professionals, one of them being a psychomotrician.

- Baby massage

- Workshops for the parents

- Counseling for the parents etc.

 

  • At Renens, the Romanian delegation visited a centre of activities for youth - Centre de Rencontre et d`Animation. Here, the delegation met Mr. Nicolas Perelyguine, a delegate for the youth of Renens and

coordinator of the centre. The centre held various activities that involved the youth but also the parents, grandparents and other adults from the local community. During these activities, young people can play games, work on different creative projects, have lunch together, socialize, cook alongside adults. The centre also had different campaigns that were implemented in schools.

A proximity social worker works at the centre; the social worker meets with the youth at the centre or in other locations such as schools, their neighbourhood etc. The activity of the proximity social worker focuses on responding to the individual or collective needs of the local youth and strengthening or reestablishing their connections with society. The services offered by the proximity social worker are free and confidential. The activities of the centre are funded by the local authorities.

 

  • At Unité de Recherche du Centre d'Etude de la Famille, the delegation met Mrs. France Frascarolo-Moutinot, a psychologist and researcher on family interactions. Mrs. Frascarolo-Moutinot held a presentation of the Research Unit and of the research conducted concerning the interaction between mother, father and child, postpartum depression, co-parenting etc. The Center for Family Studies does research but also teaches international students who want to become specialists in the evaluation of family interactions. Mrs France Frascarolo-Moutinot was one of the trainers in the seminar no 4 organised in Romania in the frame of the project.

 

  • At Elternbildung CH, Zürich, (this is the german version of "Formation des parents - CH") the delegation met Mrs. Christelle Schläpfer, the Director for the partner Formation des Parents CH and coordinator of the organisation for the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The delegation had the chance to gather more in-depth information about the partner Formation des Parents CH and its activities.

Formation des Parents CH is an umbrella organisation which coordinates information about the parenting education programmes that take place in the French, German and Italian-speaking areas of Switzerland. The information is then disseminated through brochures (available as well in the languages used by the minority populations in the area) and the organisation`s website.  The organisation has more than 200 members that are NGOs, independent parenting education  teachers and even governmental services.

  • Meeting with Mr. David Müller, project manager of the organisation, who presented the activities

of the office in Zürich. The office has 15 employees who support the parenting education activities in all the canton of Zürich, with its 5 different regions. Each region has a different schedule of courses, according to the needs of the population. The schedule is printed in brochure form and distributed by mail to the parents that solicited the brochure.

In order to reach the parents in vulnerable situations, the organisation collaborates with schools and instructs them on how to promote the parenting courses made available in the respective region. For this category of parents, there are special courses, suited to their multiple needs.

 

  • In Fribourg, the delegation visited a Parent-Child Café in a shopping center, organised by Education Familiale Fribourg. There, the delegation had a meeting with Mrs. Cristina Tattarletti, a specialist in curative pedagogy and mediator. The association Education Familiale Fribourg is an organisation which supports families with children of 0-7 years old in all the canton of Fribourg.

The Parent-Child Café is a space where parents and children get together in the presence of a professional, where parents can exchange experiences and learn more about parenting. It is also a space where children can play and learn. The parents pay a fee to attend the Cafés.

The association has different workshops and services available for parents and other adults who have a role in raising and educating children: workshops on the parent-child relationship, preparation for soon-to-be mothers, meetings with a specialist in the attending rooms of the pediatrician`s office, a helpline (online and by phone), at-home visits. The information on parenting education is also distributed through brochures, small articles in local newspapers, radio talk-shows.

Conclusions

- Organizing services for parents is based on a long previous experience, focused on identifying the parents` needs;

- The services are flexible and adequate to the needs of communities;

- Each community develops the services that are needed;

- The organisations identify the needs of communities through direct observation and contact with the beneficiaries of the services the organisations provides; financial support is solicited according to the observed needs.

- There is no coordination of the services for parents at a national level;

- Most services are financed through local/cantonal budgets but all are covered by public financial resources in a proportion of 80 - 90%. Some of the services also use the fundraising method.

- The budgets are generous and sufficient for providing quality services (for example, the services provided in the Zurich area are funded by an annual budget of 2.5 million CHF, for a population of approximately 4 million).

- There is much focus on the efficiency of the personnel - most of the employees are hired part-time - and on the quality of their activities; the employees benefit from constant supervision and are required to self-evaluate periodically. 

- Education is not only parents` priority but the priority of the whole society because it`s purpose is to prepare the child for his future life in a society. Education must make the child strong, to help him build his future, to surpass difficulties and face challenges.

- Since parental abilities are not innate, parents have a right to support in their efforts to raise and educate the child.

-  A parent does not become an experienced parent only through his or her own experience but also by staying open and receptive towards other parents, adapting and enriching his own experience through others`, evolving through a constant process of attention, reflection, experimenting and communicating.

- Parental education is not just a simple transfer of knowledge and information but a synergy of the parents` own experience with the experiences of other parents. That is why there is a need to value parents, to support their feeling of competence and to recognize their efforts for progress. This means, among other things, that the professionals helping parents must have the ability to accept criticism and arguments from the parents and to try to find, alongside them, the most adequate alternatives.



ROUND TABLE “PROMOTING THE NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR PARENTING EDUCATION”

Fundaţia Copiii Noștri (Foundation Our Children - FCN), in partnership with The Federation of NGO's for Children (FONPC) and the Swiss organization Formation des Parents-CH (Lausanne, Switzerland) ), organized the round table with the title “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”, which took place on the 6th of June 2017 at the Minister for Public Consultation and Social Dialogue, Social Dialogue Directorate, Boulevard General Gheorghe Magheru no. 7, mezzanine, sector 1, Bucharest.

The round table was organized as part of the project “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”, which is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the extended European Union.
This event was co-financed by UNICEF through a grant to Fundația Copiii Nostri.

 

The round table was organised with the occasion of the „Exchange of experience trip” of the representatives of „Formation des Parents – CH” in Romania. The exchange of experience trip is part of the project and represents an opprtunity for the Swiss partners to learn more about Romanian social policy and services for parenting education.

The National Strategy for Parenting Education was elaborated through the joint efforts of UNICEF Romania and Fundația Copiii Noștri, with technical assistance provided by UNICEF Romania and was realized through the consultancy contract between UNICEF Romania and the HoltIS Association and as part of the project “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”, implemented by Fundația Copiii Noștri.

The objective of the round table was to bring to debate various importants aspects concerning the necessity of the Strategy for parenting education and its implementation, such as:

  • The necessity of a National Strategy for parenting education from the perspective of a need for services for the development and strengthening of parenting abilities in Romania;
  • The European context in the field of parenting education policies; the diversity of the European models;
  • The example of the Swiss model of services for the development of parenting abilities and for parenting support;
  • Objectives and main directions of action proposed by the Strategy;
  • Identifying sectorial/local responsibilities, budgetary implications and institutions involved in offering parenting education services.

 

Participants
23 participants attended the round table. The representatives of governmental authorities that participated at the conference were Mrs. Adina CODREȘ, Counselor for the National Agency for Child Rights Protection and Adoption and Mrs. Viorica PREDA, General Inspector for Preschool Education, Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research.

The event welcomed the visit of the Minister for Public Consultation and Social Dialogue, Mr. Gabriel Petrea, who held a short speech, expressing his interest in the field of parenting education and its development in Romania. Mrs. Luminita Costache, Education specialist UNICEF was also present and offered a detailed presentation about UNICEF support for the development of parenting programes during the last two decades.

The Swiss partner, Formation des Parents- CH, was represented by four participants:

  • Mrs. Christelle SCHLÄPFER, Director of “Formation des Parents-CH”,
  • Mrs. Gabriela HEIMGARTNER, member of the Steering Committee of Formation des Parents- CH,
  • Mrs. Jacqueline Lashley, President of FAPERT, member organisation of Formation des Parents CH,
  • Mr. André CHAPPOT, Romand coordinator of Formation des Parents- CH.

 

Other participants were representatives of NGOs and members of the press from Agerpres, Radio Trinitas and Radio România Cultural.

The media channels that published articles about the event were: www.agerpres.ro, www.rador.ro, www.ceinou.ro, www.ziarelive.ro, www.fluierul.ro.

Programme

The event took place according to the established programme:/

 

09.30 – 10.00    Guest registration and distribution of informative materials

10.00 – 10.15    The official opening of the event. Introduction of the participants: Martha ILIESCU, President Fundația Copiii Noștri

10.15 – 10.30    General presentation of the “Research study regarding parenting education and the need of support services for parents”: Viorica PREDA, General Inspector, Minister of Education

10.30 – 10.45    Models of services for parenting support in Switzerland: Christelle SCHLÄPFER, Director “Elternbildung CH”

10.45 – 11.00    Parenting education and support programmes for parents: Luminița COSTACHE, Education Specialist UNICEF Romania

11.00 – 11.15    Objectives and main directions of action proposed by the National Strategy for Parenting Education: Ștefan COJOCARU, Director HoltIS Association

11.15 – 11.30    Coffee break

11.30 – 11.45    An overview of the history of the public and private sectors partnership in the field of promoting parenting education: Adina CODREȘ, Counselor for the National Agency for Child Rights Protection and Adoption

11.45 – 12.45    Debate. Exchange of ideas. Proposals

12.45 – 13.00    Conclusions

13.00 – 14.00    Lunch

Overall, the presentations and the debates that followed were relevant and useful for the objective of round table and the Swiss experience provided new insight into the differences and similarities in the social landscape and methods of providing parenting education in Switzerland and Romania.

The round table was an occasion for the Swiss partners to participate to debates, to meet Romanian official representatives of governmental institutions as well as representatives of Romanian NGOs which are involved in parenting programes (for exemple „Step by step”). The participation of university representatives (for exemple Prof. Ecaterina Vrăsmaș) had an important positive impact on the debates.

The round table was also an opportunity to promote the project and its financial support. Media representatives who were present could be informed about progresses in the field of parenting education and the good collaboration between governmental institutions and the civil society in this field.



Community meetings held in the period of March to August 2017

From the 1st of March to the 31st of August 2017, several community meetings were organized for the purpose of promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education in small towns and rural communities. The objective of these meetings was to bring to the attention of professionals and parents from the selected communities the issue of parenting education and the development of support services for parents, so that the parents become able to raise their children in an appropriate manner.

To comply with the project`s requirements for promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education on a broad geographical area with many counties and on several development areas, the meetings scheduled in this period took place in the following counties: Ialomița (the town of Slobozia), Harghita (the town of Toplița) and Teleorman (the commune of Salcia). Other community meetings were previously organized in the counties of Prahova, Ilfov and in Bucharest, in the Ferentari neighbourhood of District 5.

The community meeting in Slobozia was organized in collaboration with the County School Inspectorate of Ialomița on the 11th of March 2017 at the Pedagogical Highschool ,,Matei Basarab”, Matei Basarab Street no. 5, Slobozia.

21 participants attended the community meeting: teachers, school principals and other professionals from the towns of Slobozia, Fetești and Țăndărei and the communes of Stelnica, Sudiți and Movila.

The County of Ialomița was selected for this event taking into account that it is one of the poorest counties in Romania, with 61% of population living in the rural environment; the number of inhabitants has been decreasing for the past 10 years because of a high rate of poverty and a lack of material resources in the area.

The community meeting in Toplița was organized in collaboration with the County School Inspectorate of Harghita on the 1st of April 2017 at the “Dumbrava Minunată” Kindergarten, a structure of Andrei Șaguna Highschool.

34 teachers and parents from Toplița, Gheorgheni and Miercurea Ciuc attended the meeting.

The County of Harghita and the town of Toplița were selected for this event because of the variety of ethnicities in the area, which has a large Magyar, Roma and also German population.

The community meeting in the county of Teleorman was organized in the commune of Salcia, on the 17th of July 2017 at the local Gymnasial School.

 

30 participants attended the meeting: teachers, Local Council representatives and other professionals from the communes of Salcia and Călmățuiu.

 

In general, the meetings approached approximately the same issues, for example:

 

a) Is parenting education a priority?

b) Are today`s parents ready to assume their parental obligations in an appropriate manner?

c) Is an adequate legal framework for the promotion of parenting education necessary?

d) Which are the institutions which should assume providing parenting education/the support of parenthood?

e) Are specialized professionals needed to inform parents about the current knowledge in parenting education which fights against the old mentality based on excessive authority, physical punishment, abuse and the neglect of children`s rights?

f) The role of the community, of decision organisms and key-professionals in the promotion of parenting education.

The document „The National Strategy for Parenting Education” was discussed and debated during all the meetings and the participants had the chance to make different proposals. From the evaluation of the questionnaires that were distributed to the participants at the meetings, we arrived at the following conclusions:

  • A National Strategy for Parenting Education is needed in order to legally and officially regulate this activity.
  • The National Strategy for Parenting Education is a necessary and useful document, which needs to be adopted at a governmental level as soon as possible in order to efficiently provide parental support.
  • Many of the teachers present at the community meetings underlined the fact that they previously participated in the Parenting Education Program implemented by Fundația Copiii Noștri with the assistance of UNICEF Romania, where they received specific training which allowed them to organize meetings/courses with the parents in the framework of the ,,Educați Așa!” method. These meetings were a real success, proving the parents` need for information and services for a better family education. All this activity was exclusively based on volunteering and on the support provided by the School Inspectorates. Thus, in order that parenting education will become a continuous and coherent activity at a national level it is necessary to provide a special budget at a local/national level in order to efficiently and constantly organize parenting education courses.
  • The relationship between the kindergarten/ school and the parents is essential and must be permanently supported. The parents who are not involved in activities at their children`s kindergarten/ school have a diminished interest for the children`s education, which could lead to school dropout.



Study trip organized for the Swiss professionals who travelled to Romania

Fundația Copiii Noștri (Foundation Our Children-FCN), in partnership with Federația Organizațiilor Neguvernamentale pentru Copil (The Federation of Non-governmental Organisations for Children-FONPC) and Formation des Parents-CH (Lausanne, Switzerland) organized a study trip for 4 Swiss professionals who traveled to Romania in the period of 6 to 9 of June 2017.

The study trip is part of the project “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”, which is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the extended European Union.

The objective of the study trip is to contribute to a reciprocal exchange of information, skills and professional experience between the Swiss professionals and the partner organizations Fundația Copiii Noștri (Foundation Our Children) and Federația Organizațiilor Neguvernamentale pentru Copil (The Federation of Non-governmental Organisations for Children) but also with other organizations and institutions working with parents in Romania.

Participants

The Swiss delegation had 4 participants, as follows:

  • Mrs. Christelle SCHLÄPFER, Director of “Formation des Parents-CH”,
  • Mrs. Gabriela HEIMGARTNER, member of the Board of Formation des Parents- CH,
  • Mrs. Jacqueline Lashley, President of FAPERT, member organisation of Formation des Parents CH
  • Mr. André CHAPPOT, Romand coordinator of Formation des Parents- CH.

Program
The following schedule of the study trip was arranged prior to the trip by the Romanian partners and communicated to the participants in the delegation:

Monday, June 5th – Arrivals
Tuesday, June 6th
9.30 – 14.00 Round Table with professionals involved in Child and Family Protection Ministry of Social Dialogue Blv. G-ral Gheorghe Magheru no. 7, entresol, 1st District
Meeting with members of the Steering Committee and other professionals and representatives of different Ministries.
15:00 – 17:00 Meeting at FICF (International Foundation for Child and Family): presentation about their activity - the classes for parents, the counseling in maternal centers , art therapy activities, the playroom in hospitals. St. Occidentului, no. 44
Meeting with Mrs. Gabriela SARD – Executive Director of FICF
Andreea ENE – Administrative director of FICF
19:00 Welcome dinner - at the restaurant “Caru’ cu Bere” (The beer cart) – Romanian cuisine and entertainment St. Stavropoleos, no.5
Wednesday, June 7th
9:30 – 11:30 Visit the “Bambi center” of the organization “Step by Step” Str Gh. Dem. Teodorescu
Meeting with Mrs. Carmen Anghelescu, Chief
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch at SIMBIO ( a gastro-bar in the area ) St. Negustori, no. 26
14:00 – 15:00 Visit to the Association for Community Solidarity and Social Intervention ( ACSIS) St. Calea Moşilor, no. 215, Block 21, Staircase B, Ap. 37, 2nd District
Meeting with Maria Neagoe – Executive Director of ACSIS
15 30 – 17.30 Meeting at FONPC with NGO members of FONPC St. Matei Basarab, no. 41, Floor 1, Ap. 2, 3ed District
Meeting with Daniela GHEORGHE – Executive director of FONPC
Thursday, June 8th
9.30 – 10.45 Visit the Kindergarten no 50 Str Nicolae Iorga no 10 sector 1
Meeting with Margareta CHICOȘ – Director of the Kindergarten
11.00 – 12.30 Project meeting at Fundatia Copiii Nostri (Foundation Our Children): Discuss about the project; expected results, challenges, next steps, budget issues. St. Piata Amzei, no. 7-9, 1st District
Meeting with Martha ILIESCU, Adina OVEDENIE, Raluca POP-TOTH and Nicoleta DUDĂU
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch at FCN
14:00 – 15:00 Visit at Phillip Foundation – center working with roma family str Soldat Tunsu Petre nr 9 sector 5
Meeting with Ovidiu FILIPESCU - President
15.00 – 17.00 Visit the Valentina Association
The association helps parents’ whose children are at the center Valentina in finding a job.
St. Dârste no. 4, sector 5
Meeting with Alice WECK - President and Gabriela GHEORGHE – Executive director
Friday – June 9th – Departure
Optional Visit at the Village Museum or the House of Parliament
Departure

During the Round Table ,,Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”, which took place at the Ministry for Public Consultation and Social Dialogue on the 6th of June 2017, the delegation met the members of the Steering Committee for the elaboration of the Strategy and other professionals and representatives of different Ministries.

Various presentations were held by the Romanian speakers: Mrs. Viorica Preda, General Inspector, Ministry of Education; Mrs. Luminița Costache, Education Specialist for UNICEF Romania; Mrs. Adina CODREȘ, Superior Counselor for the ANPDCA.
Mrs. Christelle SCHLÄPFER, the director of Formation des Parents-CH held a presentation of the organization, its activities and the types of services that are available for Swiss parents.

After the presentations, the round table concluded with debates and comments from the participants on various relevant topics such as the organisation of parenting courses, the differences and similarities in the social landscape and methods of providing parenting education in Switzerland and Romania, professionals who should become parenting educators, ways of promoting the Strategy.

Members of the press from Agerpres, Radio Trinitas and Radio România Cultural were present at the round table.

The media channels that published articles about the event were: www.agerpres.ro, www.rador.ro, www.ceinou.ro, www.ziarelive.ro, www.fluierul.ro.

. The round table was also filmed by Mr. André CHAPPOT, Romand coordinator of Formation des Parents- CH, and uploaded online, at https://goo.gl/wC2ov7 .

The delegation also visited other institutions and NGOs: At the International Foundation for Child and Family (FICF), the delegation met Mrs. Gabriela SARD – Executive Director of FICF and Mrs. Andreea ENE – Administrative director of FICF. An important discussion was developed around the sustainability of different projects after the ending of the financial support.

At the Bambi Kindergarten of the organization “Step by Step”, the Swiss delegation, met Mrs. Carmen Anghelescu, Chief of Early Development Department.

At the Association for Community Solidarity and Social Intervention (ACSIS), the Swiss delegation was given a presentation on the association`s activities and programs by Mrs. Maria Neagoe – Executive Director of ACSIS.

Other visits were to the kindergarten 50 in Bucharest where Mrs. Margareta Chicoș, director of Kindergarten welcomed the Swiss delegation; the “Phillip Foundation” the “Valentina” Association

The delegation participated in a meeting at FONPC headquarters where the Swiss partners had the opportunity to meet some of the NGO members of FONPC.

The meeting with Fundatia Copiii Nostri took an important place in the program. The general objective of this meeting was to discuss different aspects concerning the project ,,Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”, such as present results and results expected in the future, challenges that the teams of the partner organizations met during the project, next steps and responsabilities. Budget issues were discussed and clarified, as well as the role of Formation des Parents-CH for the rest of the project. The representatives of Formation des Parents-CH expressed their availability for participating at the Final conference of the project.

Conclusions

  • The study trip was an opportunity for the Swiss partners to observe and learn about the social environment in Romania and about the Romanian efforts in parenting education so far;
  • With the occasion of the round table the Swiss delegation met Romanian professionals from the NGO and governmental environments, participated in debates and shared their experience with parenting education. As such, the Romanian professionals learned about Swiss programs for parenting education, the types of services available for parents and methods of providing them and the differences and similarities in the social landscapes in Romania and Switzerland;
  • One of the most interesting differences between the Romanian and Swiss experience in parenting education, which was debated during the round table, was the issue of school teachers becoming parenting educators – in Romania, parents generally trust teachers to provide parenting education but in Switzerland this has not been a good experience both because of a confusion of roles and a reluctance of Swiss parents to learn about parenting from school teachers;
  • Through the visits at the NGOs and kindergartens, the Swiss delegation gained a more in depth understanding of the social environment in Romania and the types of services that are available for both financially stable and disadvantaged families.


Community meeting “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”

The Federation of NGOs for Child, in partnership with the General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection Sălaj and the Orthodox Parish No. 1 - Church "Entrance to the Church of Mother of God" organized the community meeting “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education” in Șimleu Silvaniei , Sălaj county, on 27th July 2017.
The community meeting was organized as part of the project “Promoting the National Strategy for Parenting Education”, which is co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the extended European Union.
The objective of the community meeting was to promote the strategy for parenting education and offer the opportunity to organize a debate concerning support services for parenting on local level.

Programme
The event took place according to the following programme:

10.30 - 11.00  Receiving participants. Distribution of materials and welcome coffee
11.00- 11.30 Introductions. Opening the event – Representatives of the local public authorities and the Orthodox Parish:
- Țurcaș Septimiu – Mayor of Șimleu Silvaniei
- Rosan Ioan – Mayor of Commune Valcăul de Jos
- Boșca Vasile – Priest of Orthodox Parish no. 1 – Church "Entrance to the Church of Mother of God" - Csatari Ioana – Principal of Kindergarten no.2 Șimleu Silvaniei
- Bota Ioana – Representative of DGASPC Sălaj
Nechita Viorela – Principal of Technological Highschool ”Ioan Osian” Șimleu Silvaniei
11.30 - 11.40 Presentation of the "Promoting the National Parental Education Strategy" program, a project co-funded by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the Extended European Union
11.40 - 12.30 Discussions on parental education
12.30 – 12.45 Conclusions
12.45 – 13.15 Visiting the Day Center
13.15 – 14.30 Lunch

31 professionals attended the community meeting.  Among the participants, there were teachers, psychologists, social workers, educators, supporting teachers in working with teachers, families and children, medical staff, priest, representatives of local authorities (City Halls -  two mayors, one representative of the Local Council from rural area, a Kindergarten director, a High school Director, the Director of the Center for social services for children with disabilities, a priest, three representatives of County Direction for Child Protection and parents.  
From the evaluation of the questionnaires that were distributed to the participants at the meetings and from the discussions held during the community meeting we arrived at the following conclusions:

  • Parenting education and support for parents in educating the child is a priority.
  • The most important activities to promote a national strategy for parenting education could be the organization of meetings with interactive activities for the parents, children and various specialists and the involvement of local authorities.  
  • It is necessary to create a specific occupation in COR (Classification of Occupations Romania) for “parenting educator” .
  • The institutions which should be involved in the implementation of a coherent strategy for parenting education are Schools, the Local Public Administration, the Local Councils, City Halls, Churches and the General Direction of Social Work.
  • Training on parental education is needed, and the professionals present are willing to participate in such trainings.
  • Parental education is a necessity given the fact that in Romania the situation of abused children and abandoned children is severe.
  • Parental educators should not only be teachers, but also social workers, psychologists, medical staff and any professional working directly with children and parents should attend parental education.
  • Parental education is required to be taught to all professionals who work with children (doctors, nurses, prosecutors, judges, lawyers, psychologists, social workers, teachers, educators) in initial training (university studies or post-secondary studies).
  • A special category of parents for whom support and parenting is needed is that of parents who leave to work abroad because these parents often lose contact with the child left home, in the care of their relatives.
  • The law giving parents money to take the child to school or kindergarten was a law with good intentions but that created a vicious system: money is spent by parents without them being supervised by the authorities, and few invest them in healthcare or child’s education. Social services, health care, support for parents should be created, rather than giving benefits or vouchers to parents.
  • Every year the Ministries of Labor, Education and other ministries should finance training courses on parental education. Mainly, prevention means to offer support to the family, parents and children.
  • For example, support teachers have always been ignored as an important professional resource in parenting. They need to benefit from such trainings.
  • In Sălaj County, local public authorities and the city halls agree to support training courses, especially meetings with parents.
  • A National Strategy should have a very concrete action plan and an allocated budget so that it can be quickly put into practice. The results of parental education will very quickly become visible if there is a national and local concern. It is necessary for Ministers to discuss directly with Prefectures, County Councils and City Halls about this strategy.
  • Parent education is not that expensive, but its effects are remarkable.
  • Parental education should start from kindergarten; children should be informed about the role parents play in child development.