In central Warsaw lies the Child Advocacy Centre “Mazowiecka” where children who are victims of abuse receive consultations and therapy. The project is run by Nobody’s Children Foundation, which Childhood has been working with for six years but on other programmes. The most popular therapist by far is Zuzia, also called Zozi. Zuzia is a very talkative cockatoo parrot who loves to dance. Whenever children visit her, she makes them relax and laugh. As a result, several walls of the centre are plastered with children’s drawings of Zuzia. Being able to trust again, even if it is only in a parrot, and being able to draw happy things, are crucial in the children’s recovery process.
The map of Cekcyn district in Poland shows the number of children living in at-risk families known to the local social services. Comenius Foundation, with support from Childhood, is developing a pilot model for preventing social exclusion of at-risk families with young children in rural areas. There are various free options for younger children in the district: day-care, pre-school, kindergartens. The problem is that at-risk parents and their children do not attend. The main challenges are accessibility/transportation as well as parents’ motivation and attitudes. Out of a total of 496 children 0-6, 117 are on the social services list of children living in families in need of financial and/or social support. By using individual approaches and actively encouraging at-risk parents to attend activities with their children, making sure that they feel welcome and supported, parents are developing positive parental skills and closer bonds with their children.