SOCIAL POLICIES FOR CHILDREN S WELL-BEING: THE CASE OF STROVOLOS MUNICIPALITY FILOXENIA CONFERENCE CENTRE 18 OCTOBER 2012

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1 SOCIAL POLICIES FOR CHILDREN S WELL-BEING: THE CASE OF STROVOLOS MUNICIPALITY FILOXENIA CONFERENCE CENTRE 18 OCTOBER 2012

2 SOCIAL POLICY AND WELFARE The Municipality of Strovolos has been playing a pioneer role in social services in Cyprus since 1993, with the establishment of STROVOLOS MUNICIPAL MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FOUNDATION

3 A foundation responsible for the development and implementation of social policy in the area of Strovolos.

4 The Municipal Council, in order to identify and implement any kind of social policy measures, applies the following principles of decision making process: 1. Collection and analysis of data so as to specify the actual needs of Strovolos citizens. 2. Submission of relevant suggestions/proposals to actual needs. 3. Brainstorming of ideas/suggestions/proposals at the Social Welfare Committee which is consisted of Municipal Counselors.

5 SOCIAL POLICY AND WELFARE The economic contribution of Municipality, State and beneficiaries of services is as follows: approximately 50%, 20%, 30% respectively. The Municipality has created a social network and cooperates with state, private and voluntary sector services, which have the same or similar objectives and aspirations in the field of social policy.

6 Main priority within the policy agenda of Strovolos Municipal Council The prevention and overcoming of Child Poverty and Social Exclusion, by developing for children: Quality services and Opportunities for their well-being.

7 STROVOLOS MUNICIPAL MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FOUNDATION 1. DAILY CENTERS FOR THE PROTECTION AND RECREATION OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN 2. TRAINING PROGRAM PARENTS CHILDREN, EDUCATION AND RELATIONSHIPS 3. CHILDREN S SUMMER CAMP 4. OPEN SCHOOL : ADULTS AND CHILDREN S ACTIVITY CENTERS 5. SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK

8 DAILY CENTERS FOR THE PROTECTION AND RECREATION OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN The aim of this service is to facilitate working with family life of both parents, by offering services to primary school children after finish school at 1:05 p.m. until 6:00 o clock in the afternoon.

9 CENTERS OPERATION The Centers are situated at primary school buildings. The persons responsible for the Centers are Kindergarten Teachers, Psychologists and Social Workers. When children finish school, they are offered lunch, then they do their homework, and subsequently a series of activities are organized.

10 During school holidays, the Centers open early in the morning, from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. During summer holidays, the Foundation operates a Center for disable primary school children, on the same philosophy as all the other Centers. Parents pay fees for this service ( 85,00 monthly per child). The Cyprus Social Welfare Services contribute economically to the participation of children at the Centers, when their parents can not afford it and are eligible for, based on the Cyprus Law.

11 TRAINING PROGRAM PARENTS CHILDREN, EDUCATION AND RELATIONSHIPS a) Offer parents as much knowledge as possible regarding the upbringing of their children through a forum of specialists, such as, psychologists, social workers, teachers, doctors, and other experts.

12 b) Educate parents in the use of more effective methods of growing up their children, as well as ways of handling them in daily matters, so as to create mature, happy, responsible and independent individuals. c) Help them to solve their family problems more effectively. d) Sensitise parents on the main problems that adolescences face.

13 Regarding the structure of the programme The programme is separated in two units. The first one concerns the presentation of 11 subjects related with infantile and school age. For example: Development and growth of child The modern family Violence in the family Sexual education Usual medical problems in the infantile and school age

14 The second one concerns the development of 11 subjects related with preadolescent, adolescent and family in general. For example: Teenager: Challenge or Crisis? Illegal substances Bulling Anxieties in the adolescent age At the end of each unit, a certificate is given to those parents who attend the 80% of the program.

15 CHILDREN S SUMMER CAMP In 2010, the Municipality created a camp for primary school children in a village on the mountains of Cyprus.

16 The capacity of the building is for 40 children aged In the summer of 2012, five periods had been organized and 200 children took part. During their stay at the camp, the children have the opportunity to do the following activities: excursions, group games, athletics, music nights, preventive discussions on themes of general interest.

17 OPEN SCHOOL : ADULTS AND CHILDREN S ACTIVITY CENTERS The Ministry of Education and Culture funds a program called Open School, which provides general adult and child education, within the lifelong learning context. The program offers a wide range of courses that aim: - towards the holistic development of each individual s personality and - giving both adults and children the opportunity to take part in a series of educational and creative activities, at a very low tuition fee.

18 Lessons for children are held in the afternoon, at 6 primary schools. Lessons are organized by qualified teachers. Offered activities/subjects for children: hip hop, traditional and Latin dancing, mathematics and science, rhythmic gymnastics and for girls with disabilities, music, learning guitar, drawing, handicraft, archery, tae kwon Do, tennis at the Municipal Athletic Center, computer, handmade jewelry, music, football academy.

19 During school year, 400 children attended classes

20 Under the protection of the Centre, the following new programmes are introduced this year: Organisation of one day excursion for 1000 elderly people habitants of Strovolos free of charge (visit places and offer lunch). Organisation of five-day-holidays for 130 elderly habitants of Strovolos funded by the Municipality based on criteria. Organisation of camping for around 60 children aged habitants of Strovolos in the mountains in a place prepared especially for that purpose.

21

22 SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK The professional Social Worker cooperates with: Students and their families so as to help them to overcome any social problems they face, through counselling. The Director and high school teachers for solving any problems regarding their school life.

23 RESEARCH Which are the pressures that families with children feel in their family and social environment, and proposed measures to tackle them The research is co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund

24 The partners of the research are: Municipality of Strovolos Strovolos Municipal Multi-functional Foundation The Research Center of European University of Cyprus European University of Cyprus Cyprus Association of Social Workers

25 Our belief is that through the understanding of reasons (social, family, psychological, etc.) that causes pressures on the family system, we can safely promote preventive policies and tackle, at the same time, these obstacles. Based on the results of the research, new supportive services for families with children will be developed. Fulfilling this project in two years, the Municipality of Strovolos will obtain a new policy tool, on the basis of which can invest in more high quality services for the well-being of children/citizens of Strovolos.

26

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