April 2001, No. 39 Deadline for contributions: 20 May 2001

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PARENTS FORUM, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, is happy to greet friends around the globe and announce the upcoming publication of their programme handbook for parents and their allies, entitled PARENTS FORUM Where The Heart Listens. The book, distilling ten years of programme experiences and written by the programme founder, Eve Sullivan, will be available through Atlas Books (www.atlasbooks.com).

Inquiries: Parents Forum, 144 Pemberton Street, Cambridge MA 02140-2509, USA, Email: info@parentsforum.org, Web: http://www.parentsforum.org (includes sample chapter of the book and the latest information on publication of Where the Heart Listens).

The SOS-Kinderdorf Hermann Gmeiner Academy, entrusted with the pedagogical work of SOS-Kinderdorf International, issues twice a year the magazine FORUM, where relevant child-related issues are debated from a pedagogical and sociological point of view. The forthcoming issue is dedicated to the subject of ‘Families’ and contains articles about the changing meaning of family and childhood in Europe, the traditional and new family culture in Mali and Cameroon, the sociological meaning of relationship, family support in Social Centres in Bolivia, and reflections about the ‘family-like’ framework in the SOS Children's Villages.

In case of interest, you can obtain a copy from: Claudia Schachinger, Email: Claudia.Schachinger@sos-kd.org

The United Nations Population Division reports that Europe may need to accept a substantial number of immigrants over the next 50 years to maintain the size of its workforce. Low fertility rates, among the lowest in the world, will be responsible for fewer young people and a significant increase in the proportions of older people. For example, to maintain its workforce at the 1995 level, Italy alone, whose population is projected to decline from the current level of 57 million to 41 million by 2050, would need 300,000 immigrants a year between 1995 and 2025. During the same period, it is estimated that Germany would need about 500,000 immigrants per year.

As reported in: World Population News Service (POPLINE) Vol. 22, March-April 2000, 107 Second Street, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002, USA, Web: http://www.populationinstitute.org

Family Policy In The Slovak Republic In 1999

The Bratislava International Centre for Family Studies published the above-titled booklet in July 2000. It indicates that the ‘[f]amily signifies mutual responsibility for each other and the family as a whole. In each family a particular member to a different extent shares diverse responsibilities. The degree of shared responsibility and ways of participating in 'family matters' are also - to a different degree - determined by the relationship between the family and the state.’ In CEE countries creating 'adequate ways' of supporting families means two things: first, to get rid of the outdated 'paternalistic' social programmes that do not correspond with principles of democracy and requirements of market economy, second, to create new programmes that would help families to achieve economic independence and to choose the appropriate form of family life.

The Conception of the State Family Policy, published by the Slovak Government, indicates that the basic strategic objectives of Slovak family policy are to:

  • achieve a relative economic independence of families based on strengthened responsibility of individuals and families for their well-being

  • support stability and quality of family relations (married couples and parents and children) in order to achieve equality and fair division of family duties and roles

  • create optimum conditions for self-reproduction of society

  • adopt such measures that enable parents to chose between the family and work

The role of the state in the realisation of these long-term objectives lies mostly in the ‘...sphere of legal protection of the family and its individual members, in the area of socio-economic security of the family, via supporting responsible behaviour of children and the youth towards partnership and parenting, and via health protection of individuals’.

From: Bulletin 2/2000, Bratislava International Centre for Family Studies, Drotarska cesta 46, 81104 Bratislava, Slovak Republic, Phone: 421-7-6280 2592; Fax: 421-7-6280 2692, Email: bicfs@bicfs.sk

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