The impact of public institutions on the family is an issue that generates many discussions. This issue was addressed by the international scientific conference “Evolution of the principle of family protection – will institutions take over the functions of the family?” An on-line event was attended by experts from many countries representing various fields, e.g. law and sociology. The speakers highlighted the importance of directly supporting the family in its natural processes, rather than the creation of substitute mechanisms by institutions.
The conference was devoted to identifying the appropriate ways of developing aid schemes targeted at supporting the family. The models of support for the care of young children, the elderly and people with disabilities were discussed in detail. The practices of the institutions established to protect children and to supervise the proper functioning of the family were also discussed, with special reference to the boundaries which these authorities should not cross.
The conference was attended by representatives of public institutions and scientists from Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Brazil, Norway and Moldova, e.g. Minister Paweł Wdówik - Secretary of State at the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, and Government Plenipotentiary for People with Disabilities, Prof. Angela Gandra - Secretary of Family Affair in Brazil's Ministry of Family and Human Rights, Dorota Bojemska - President of the Family Council, attached to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, and Balazs Molnar PhD - Vice-President of Strategy and Coordination of the Hungarian Mária Kopp Institute for Demography and Families. The conference was open to the public – whether for viewing or for real on-line participation – asking questions and talking to the speakers.
Three thematic materials were presented during the event, created by the Ordo Iuris Institute - a report on childcare up to the age of three, a report on the activities of the Norwegian children's office - Barnevernet, and a recent analysis of the government's “Za Życiem” program. They were the starting point for panel discussions, where practitioners could refer to the ideas and comments of the scientists, in order to draw conclusions that would enable them to create more effective family support mechanisms in the future and make better use of the existing ones.
"The conclusion of the meeting was that, while maintaining institutional support, family support directed at it should be especially developed, focused on supporting it in the exercise of its natural functions and not on the creation of substitute mechanisms,” commented Filip Furman, Director of the Social Sciences and Bioethics Centre of Ordo luris.
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