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FOSTER CARE FOR
CHILDREN IN CROATIA
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare,
Croatia
FOSTER CARE LEGISLATION
Social Welfare legislation (published in “Narodne
novine" No. 73/97, 27/01, 59/01, 82/01 and 103/03),

Regulation on criteria for practicing foster care and
on procedures for issuing, renewing and cancelling
foster parent’s lincence ("Narodne novine", No. 95/04 i
179/04).

FOSTER CARE UPGRADING
THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF LEGISLATION
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Regulating issuance of foster care licences – have to be
revised and reissued every two years,
Obligatory training of foster parents before placing
beneficiaries,
Reducing the number of children which can be placed in
one foster family, especially children with physical or
intellectual disabilities
Families who foster HIV positive children have the
option to perform foster care as a profession
establishing family-type homes
WHO CAN BE PLACED IN A
FOSTER FAMILY?
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Children without appropriate parental care (parentless children,
neglected children or children whose parents misuse their
parental duties),
Pregnant woman or a parent with a child up to 6 months of age.
Exceptionally, if in the best interest of a child, a parent with a
child up to 12 months of age,
Children and adolescents with behavioural disorders,
Children and adults – victims of family violence,
Persons with physical or intellectual disabilities,
Adults with psychical illnesses,
Persons with alcohol, drugs or other substances addiction,
Elderly and incapable people,
HIV positive children
FOSTER CARE DEFINITION

Foster care has been defined as a form of care
out of one’s own family, which provides
housing, nutrition, care, upbringing, health,
education and care of other needs of a
beneficiary (a child or an adult).
ROLE OF A SOCIAL WELFARE CENTRE

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Expert-team assessment of a foster family conditions
prior to issuing a licence
Issuing a licence
Conducting training
Preparing a foster family for the placement
Preparing a beneficiary for the placement (foster care
plan)
Preparing a biological family
Support to a foster family
Supervision of a foster family’s work
Visiting beneficiaries in foster families
Working with biological family
FOSTER CARE ALLOWANCE
It is determined in accordance to age and to specific needs of a
beneficiary (a base-line amount for social welfare allowances
is 400,00 HRK)
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Preschool child
- 360% of the base-line
amount (1.440,00 HRK)
School-age child
- 400% of the base-line
amount (1.600,00 HRK)
Preschool disabled child - 400% of the base-line
amount (1.600,00 HRK)
School-age disabled child
- 440% of the base-line
amount (1.760,00 HRK)
HIV positive child
- 1250% of the base-line
amount (5.000,00 HRK)
NUMERIC INDICATORS

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
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Children without appropriate parental care – 1.684;
Disabled children – 378;
Children with behavioural disorders – 120;
Children – victims of family violence – 10;
HIV positive children – 3
TOTAL NUMBER OF CHILDREN: 2.195
FOSTER FAMILIES: 1.337
DIFFICULTIES IN THE
AREA OF FOSTER CARE:


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Lack of specialised professionals in the area of foster care,
General over-load of professionals in social welfare centres
Insufficient cooperation between social welfare centres in the
area of foster care
Absence of data base on foster families and their capacities
for placements
Consequences of these difficulties:
 Foster families do not get sufficient and appropriate expert
support,
 Foster parents are often left by them selves to face numerous
problems, including ever more complex issues of the fostered
children.
ACTIVITIES OF THE MINISTRY
ON THE UPGRADING OF
FOSTER CARE

Cooperation with UNICEF Office for Croatia
and the Centre for Social Policy Initiatives in
projects focused on the upgrading of foster care;

Drafting the new foster care legislation
Upgrading the foster care for
children in Croatia
UNICEF - PROJECT
“EVERY CHILD NEEDS A
FAMILY”
PROJECT ACTIVITIES



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Establishing county foster care support centres
Creating data base on foster families and
fostered children
Promotion of foster care at the local level
Providing appropriate material conditions,
education, monitoring and support to foster
families fostering the youngest children (0-3)
PROJECT OBJECTIVES
Upgrading the quality of foster care for children in Croatia,
by establishing county foster care support centres



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Education / training of professionals in foster care
support centres
Supervision in psycho-social work ( professionals in
foster care support centres,
Creating data base on foster families and fostered
children in each county,
Promotion of foster care at the local level
Providing appropriate material conditions, education,
monitoring and support to foster families fostering the
youngest children (0-3)
PROJECT IMPLEMENTORS
 Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
 Centre for Social Policy Initiatives (CSPI)
 UNICEF
County foster care
support centres
– Professionals dealing with foster care from
each social welfare centre in each selected
county,
– Representatives of residential institutions for
children without parental care in each county
The role of county foster care
support centres
Provide support to foster parents for children through:
– Organizing and conducting initial training of foster parents
prior to the first placement of children,
– Organizing and conducting continuous further education, as
well as support groups for foster parents and fostered children,
– All-day phone counselling available to foster families
– Creating data base on foster families and fostered children in
each county, available to all social welfare centres in
particular county, and to other counties if needed
– Conducting coordinated and focused local campaigns for
foster care promotion
– Providing basic baby equipment and support to families which
would decide to foster small babies.
County foster care support
centres get:

Education (CSPI);

Supervision;

Support and monitoring (Ministry of
Health and Social Welfare (MHSW).
PROJECT RESULTS
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57 professionals engaged in 7 county foster care support
centres
All members of the county foster care support centres were
given education and supervision
Several local campaigns for promotion of foster care have
been launched
Data bases of foster families and fostered children have been
created in all counties
35 support groups for foster parents have been organised and
guided
14 support groups for fostered children have been organised
and guided
597 new licences issued
294 children put into foster parents homes
QUALITY ADVANCES THROUGH THE
PROJECT

Professionals emphasize developping of a new
kind of relation with foster parents, with more
reciprocal respect and consideration

Foster parents stress the importance of support
groups, where they can get expert support and,
furthermore, are given the possibility of
exchanging experience and support with other
foster parents
Upgrading the quality of foster
care for children in Croatia
CSPI - PROJECT
“Training of experts, professionals
and foster parents in the area of foster
care in Croatia”
Following organisations participated
in implementation of the CSPI project:



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University, social welfare service and foster care
agency from Goteborg, Sweden
SIDA ,
University in Zagreb, Croatia
Croatian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
and social welfare services.
PROJECT RESULTS

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15 social welfare professionals were educated
and subsequently conducted regional trainings
for next 129 social welfare professionals
working in the area of foster care,
Handbook for training of professionals created,
Guidebook for education of foster parents
created,
Swedish questionnaire for foster family
assessment translated and modified.
Upgrading the quality of foster
care for children in Croatia
CSPI - PROJECT
“Supervision of foster
parents”
Following organisations participated
in implementation of the CSPI project:




University in Goteborg, Sweden,
SIDA,
University in Zagreb,
Croatian MHSW and social welfare services.
PROJECT RESULTS


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35 social welfare professionals participate in the
ongoing training to become supervisors for
foster parents,
Around 200 foster parents are supported through
supervision,
Professionals in training are also provided by
regular supervision.
NEW FOSTER CARE
LEGISLATION

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At most 3 children can be placed in one foster
family;
Establishing specialised foster care teams in
social welfare centres;
Systematic education of professionals
Structured foster care allowances
Foster families register and data base
DUTIES OF THE SOCIAL
WELFARE CENTRE


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Establish a foster care team;
Inform a foster family on characteristics of the
person to be placed in a family;
Act in the manner to fulfil the purpose of
fostering in all situations and in the best possible
way.


Promote development of foster care in it’s field
in accordance to assessed needs;
Explain the purpose of fostering, criteria,
conditions and the way of practicing foster
care, to all interested people.
Specialised foster care teams


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Developing foster care in the area of local
authority of a particular social welfare centre;
Determine the fulfilment of defined criteria and
conditions, estimating qualifications and
suitability of a family, issuing a licence;
Organising and conducting education of foster
parents;


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Continuous professional support to foster
families
Continuous monitoring of foster parents’ work
Conducting supervision of foster families etc.
FOSTER CARE ALOWWANCES

CHILD’S ALLOWANCE

FOSTER PARENT’S REWARD-FEE
REGISTER AND DATA BASE


The Ministry responsible for social welfare will
constitute data base of foster families;
Each social welfare centre is obligated to keep
register on foster families and register on placed
beneficiaries (for all categories of beneficiaries
in the area of it’s local authority).
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