Smack free home for every child.(JUST/2009/DAP3/AG/1122-30-CE-0395783/00-06)


Smack free home for every child.(JUST/2009/DAP3/AG/1122-30-CE-0395783/00-06)

Project title: Smack free home for every child

The overall objective is to raise awareness of parents of young children (aged 0-3) on the negative consequences of corporal punishment and any other cruel behaviour towards young children in home environment and to enhance their practical knowledge on positive discipline methods in 4 countries: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The overall objective will be reached by direct multi-channel work with parents and by training professionals working with parents and equipping them with practical educational tools (workshop scenario, ready-to-use educational materials, and examplesof good practices). To maximize the effect, information and lobbying activities to central and local government bodies will be conducted, to include results of the project in social policies implemented at local, regional and national level.

The overall goal will be reached by different activities which will contribute to changing parents attitude towards corporal punishment, give complex knowledge about the situation in every steppartner country and about progress  which is made toward raising children without violence.

Target groups

The main target group of the project are parents of children under 3 years old as well as parents who are  expecting their babies. The activities will open to all parents of youngest children, but special focus will be put on recruiting parents at risk of child abuse (for various reasons: social exclusion, addiction,financial hardship, past experience of violence etc.). The recruitment of such parents will be conducted in cooperation with welfare services. Existingresearch shows that period between the birth and third year of age is crucial for child`s development: in this period all most important brain functions are formed. Experts underline that one of the most important thing that the child needs from parents in this time is positive bond, which will give to the child the senseof safety and belonging. This positive bond can be built when parents give child love but also set boundaries – but  using the positive discipline methods not violence. If, on the other hand, the child experiences pain or stress in the first three years, it may result in serious psychological, physical and social disturbances at the later stage of development. At the same time the first three years of child`s life could be very challenging for parents especially if it is their firstchild:  parents need special attention and specific (according to the age of child, not general) advice on how to dealwith difficult situations without violence. This kind of knowledge is essential today - in modern society where people migrate and live without help, model and advice from the extended family members. Working with parents with the youngest children may prove to be the most effective way to eliminate corporal punishment in future. Parents to be and “fresh” parents who have just started facingparenthood challenges, difficulties and conflicts, are often willing to learn howto raise their children.

The second target group are professionals who work with parents: in particular from health services and social services. They have contact with children under 3 years old and their parents. These professionals should understand that discipline without violence is a better way of raising children than applying corporal punishment and should be prepared to talk to parents and support them in positive parenting. It shouldbe mentioned that professionals from health services are very often the only figures from outside of the family that have contact with a young child. If parents show signs of parental helplessness, medical staff can advice them where to get help and support. Also, during home visiting after the child is born, mid wives and nurses can be a role model for young parents on how to take care of an infant.

The third target group are policy makers and decision-makers - all governmental bodies which are responsible for policy towards families. The goal is to provide the authorities with the result of parental attitudes research, the research on the extent of the  corporal punishment use,  as well as with the information on the effective activities addressed to parents to educate the them on positive parenting so that the authorities can take evidence-based decisions on which activities and measures should be incorporated in local and national strategiesand policies  in order to bring about -in a longer run - a real  change  in attitudes towards corporal punishment in the whole society. Also the analysis that is planned under this project will beaimed at verifying what kind of data is needed to monitor and evaluate the situation and progress in respecting the rights of youngest children to happy childhood, without violence.


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