“Caregiving to help children blossom”: MenCare Bulgaria launches new guidebook for parents on caregiving

MenCare partner Association Roditeli recently launched a guidebook for Bulgarian parents, entitled Caregiving to help children blossom, as part of MenCare Bulgaria’s “Being a Dad” campaign. The guidebook is based on a publication for social workers, Guidelines for Secure Family Environment, created by the For Our Children Foundation. For Our Children has received praise from social workers around Bulgaria for its practical approach, inspiring Association Roditeli to adapt the guidelines and make them accessible for Bulgarian parents.

Association Roditeli’s Caregiving to help children blossom was designed with all parents in mind. However, as an important piece of the “Being a Dad” campaign, it seeks to take into account specific opportunities to engage men as equal partners in care. With this in mind, the guidebook aims to frame the promotion of fathers’ involvement in positive child development as a new opportunity to promote gender equality and create positive social change in Bulgaria.

The guidebook covers nine key areas for child development: (1) Everyday Care, (2) Safety, (3) Rules, (4) Emotions, (5) Stimuli, (6) Identity, (7) Family, (8) Sexuality, and (9) Digital Skills. Each area details specific opportunities for parents – including fathers – to support the successful development of their children, and it separates information into three age groups: children ages 0-3, 3-5, and 5-7. Each section contains a column called “What is the father’s role in creating a supportive environment for…?”, which gives specific suggestions for engaging male caregivers.

The guidebook is already gaining popularity. On February 18, 2017, Association Roditeli took part in the annual event “Academy for Parents,” which gathered more than 500 parents, particularly couples expecting children and parents of children under five years old. More than 200 guidebooks were successfully distributed during the event, and Association Roditeli looks forward to further interest in the new publication.