• STUDIES about migrant parents and left behind children:



  • It is a research carried out at the level of children, teachers, school counselors, representatives of social assistance and child protection services
  • Methods: focus-groups and interviews
  • Based on the Children Rights Convention 1990 → for a full and harmonious development of his personality, the child needs to grow up in a homely environment, in an atmosphere of love, happiness and understanding. The family has the main responsibility in caring and protecting the child.
  • Emotional impact of parental migration: hopelessness, lack of belief in a happy future, lack of support or encouragement, separateness, isolation tendencies, lack of will to communicate.
  • Behavioural impact of parental migration: school abandon, low participation in school, isolation and poor communication, tendency to join deviant groups, drug use risk.
  • The lbc (left behind children) situation is determined by the relationship they have with the caretakers and with their parents – Parents’ responsibility is even greater after they leave.
  • The relationship between the children at home and their migrant parents has a better quality once the parents’ material situation is better and more stable: the communication becomes more kindred and more constant.
  • The best relationships are those based on trust, where the child knows about their parents’ situation and when he participates somehow to the decisions concerning him.
    • It is their fundamental right to have an opinion and to participate in problems and procedures regarding them – this is poorly respected. Parents start informing their children about decisions only after they have reached the age of 16-18.
  • It is very important to establish constant communication.
  • Parents migration affects the wellbeing and health situation of lbc. – poorer quality of food, responsibility of preparing the food, poorer attendance of health issues.
  • School motivation drop.
  • It is necessary that the mass media becomes an informational resource to promote good practice methods
  • Although it has been made mandatory to announce the Social Assistance Public Services and local city hall about leaving the country and to nominate the person to which the children are left in care, the system does not function properly. Not all parents follow this rule and the local structures do not properly communicate the data.
  • 2007 – National Interest Program developed by the National Authority for Children’s Rights Protection – “The Development of communitary social services network for the child and the family and supporting families in crisis in order to prevent the separation of the child from his family”: Purpose: diversifying and developing daily services and the acces of lbc to these services.
  • Local authorities are obliged to identify and evaluate the situation of each child left behind at home without one or both parents, establish the needs of these children and their caretakers. In case of need, the local authorities collaborate with the Direction of Social Assistance and Child Protection.
  • In order to prevent school abandon, the schools communicate with these Directions or SPAS (Public Services for Social Assistance). and they pursue “home visit”.
  • SOLUTIONS at the level of local authorities and directions:
    • Awareness raising campaigns over the risks to which lbc are exposed,
    • Parental education courses and seminaries organized on a periodic basis at the level of local councils,
    • More implication from NGOs in providing concrete services for the children,
    • Each school should have a council responsible for the situation of lbc.


  • STUDY by Soros Foundation:


  • In 2008, the National Strategy for Children Rights Defence was adopted.

→ lbc were introduced as a vulnerable children category.

operational objective: raising awareness over the importance of maintaining the relationship between separated children and parents. through „implementing a working methodology for social services regarding the information and counselling migrant parents about the rights, obligations, responsibilities.


  • 12 March 2019 → LBC situation is part of the European Parliament Resolution, originating from the particular situation in Romania.
    • The Parliament demands:
      • the adoption of measures to contribute to enhancing the children’s social and educational situation,
      • a better information about migrant parents’s rights and opportunities,
      • Asks the commission for data collection + evaluation study → Analysing the real dimension of the phenomenon at an European level.
      • Asks for member states to take measures
      • Asks member states to offer better information to migrants
      • Asks the Commission and member states to actively involve social partners and NGOs in actions targeted at enhancing the citation of lbc.


  • 2010 – The Real Costs of the working force migration from Romania – debate by The Senate Population Under-Comission, in cooperation with ONU Fund for Population.



  • Optimizing the identification system of lbc and involving them in psycho-social assistance services.
  • Developing support programs for families taking care of lbc. (relatives, grandparents etc.);
  • Developing parental education programs by authorities.




  • A very small number of children (with one or both parents migrating for work) have a designated legal representative, a situation that limits their access to educational and health services, legal protection or social benefits.
  • A third of the Romanian villages (comune) do not have a Public Service for Social Assistance.


 LAW 272/2004

  • Social assistance public service has the following responsibilities:
  • a) supervising the continuation of personal relation between the children and the parents left for work
  • b) organizes parental education programs addressed to the single parents at home taking care of the children, or to different caretakers, as well as to former migrant parents coming back home.
  • c) organizes quarterly meetings (or whenever necessary) with the caretakers;
  • d) facilitates and supports keeping a permanent contact between the educational unit staff and the caretakers of children.
  • f) offers counselling for the caretakers to find and maintain the quality of communication with the child.


The objective of the national romanian institutions is to offer proper support services to children in risk situations and to the adults who take care of them.



  • Consolidating social assistance services at a communitary level (human resources, professional training, creating school counselors positions)
  • Extending the socio-educational services like after schools at a national level
  • Encouraging the buddy system programs
  • Encouraging family unity
  • Maintaining constant communication between children and migrant parents and between the parents and the school staff
  • Information campaigns addressed to parents and caretakers regarding the risks and the legal obligations they have when leaving behind their children.








  • Started in 2010, program for left behind children’s protection and educational services, with the Purpose of helping children, parents and caretakers deal with this crisis situation by developing services at two levels:
    • Direct intervention :
      • supplementary school preparation,
      • social, psychological and legal services for children and parents,
      • socializing activities and communication with parents
    • Information and counseling services:
      • free psycho-social and legal counseling
      • Awareness raising and information campaigns regarding parents’ legal obligations and migration effects on lbc.
    • Lobby and advocacy


  • 263, 15.858 – both parents, 11.143 – one parent (december 2019), but according to National Education Ministry: 159.038 (2017) but still incomplete
    • RESULTS:
  • Over 9.500 children and 6.600 caretakers (relatives, unique parents) benefited from the support of the Save the Children
  • Lobby and advocacy: 2013, introduction of the Law 272/2004, for the protection and promotion of children rights, of a separate section for the protection of children with parents who migrated for work.
  • They elaborated a set of methodological recommendations and tools for realizing the parental authority temporary delegation procedure.
  • They formulated a series of proposals for completing this section, which were integrated in the law modification project of the Law 272 in 2004 concerning the protection and promotion of children rights, which was reapproved in june 2020.
  • Information activities in over 1100 cities and villages reaching over 124.000 persons through local caravans, also information campaigns (media, online, distribution of materials to relevant authorities in the country, border points, diplomatic missions)
  • Salvați Copiii offered support for the activities of the Interinstitutional Work Group dedicated to the children with parents migrating for work, which was created by the Presidential Administration in july 2016.
    • They initiated the elaboration of methodological recommendations for collecting statistical data, addressed to the social assistance public services and to schools.
  • Salvați Copiii developed a network of 17 socio-educational services afterschool in 13 counties and in Bucharest


Save the Children Caraș-Severin County


Through the „Growing Together” programme, one of the main objectives of Salvați Copiii (Caraș-Severin) is to reduce the negative impact on children left behind by migrant parents.


Their main activities take place at the Education Centre în Reșița since 2010 and are focused on left behind children:

  • – social and psychological support
  • – communication of migrant parents
  • – education support


In 2017, 43 left behind children have participated in daily activities and benefited from individual counseling. During this period, 38 parents and guardians have also participated in monthly meetings and benefited from social and physiological counseling.



  • 65% children improved their emotional abilities
  • 71% children improved their social abilities
  • 58% children have become more independent after counseling sessions
  • 24 children improved their school performance, 29 children did very well in school, 21 were given school awards



Save the Children Mureș County


Counseling centre for parents


The Counseling centre for parents from Mures County, implemented by Salvati Copiii aims to  support parents in their relationship with their children, by giving them information on how to respond better to their children’s needs. How to resolve conflict issues and to develop healthy relationships, so that children could grow and evolve harmoniously.


The services provided by the center accessible to parents:

  • Parental education for parents who have children with emotional difficulties, as well as behavior and social difficulties
  • Psychological counseling for parents with emotional difficulties and for families who find themselves in crisis situations

The services provided by the center accessible to children:

  • clinical and psychological evaluation to children and teenagers
  • individual counseling for children and teenagers
  • group counseling for children and teenagers
  • psychopedagogy interventions in schools and kindergartens



  • Individual counseling and parental education: 671 beneficiaries (parents)
  • Parental education courses: 406 beneficiaries (parents)
  • Individual psychological counseling and evaluation: 655 beneficiaries (children)
  • 67 sessions of social and emotional abilities development: 174 children
  • 87 workshops with 907 participants ( education, protection and health specialists)
  • 105 education workshops: 904 students;
  • 40 workshops: 374 parents



Save the Children Suceava County


Counseling centre for parents

Starting with 2010, the Centre from Suceava implements the `Competent parents, healthy children – developing parenting services in Romania` project, which provides:


  • Evaluation and counseling for children and parents (individual and group): approximately 80 sessions/month (approximately 5 new cases per month) :
  • Training activities for experts – approximately 60 beneficiaries ;
  • Information activities for children, parents and experts


Save the Children Timiș County


Counseling centre for parents


The Counseling centre for parents from Timis County has started its activity in 2010 and since then the local community has benefited from the following services:

Individual therapy/counseling – therapeutic intervention to 849 children and parents


  • They help children coping with emotional disorders, difficulties in anger management, bullying, ADHD/ADD, anxiety, depression and so on and so forth
  • They help parents who need parenting guidance, psychoeducation ADHD, who have relationship and communication difficulties with their children


They also provide group activities addressed to parents, children, specialists (teachers, therapists, doctors etc): workshops, educational activities addressed to children, group counseling for children.


Results: 8.441 beneficiaries ( parents, children, specialists)




  • PROJECTS dedicated to migrant parents and/or left behind children


  1. HOME ALONE CHILDREN (Project by Salvati Copiii) www.copiisinguriacasa.ro



  • Supporting caretakers through parental education, social, psychological and legal counselling programs
  • Organizing recreational, socializing and cultural activities.
  • Offering supplementary school preparation
  • Psychological counselling and social support for the children


  • Online and telephone counselling service, for the caretakers, parents, children, community members, social institutions specialists, having responsibilities in the protection and education of the children affected by the economical migration of parents. Psycho-social and legal counselling.
  • In 2020, during SARS-CoV-2 epidemics, → emergency material support (tablets)
  • Local authorities capacity building towards managing this situation:
    • Creating methodological recommendations
    • Organizing national conferences about good practices in working with children with migrant parents and about law enforcement – 2016 și 2017. 370 participants
    • Organizing regional debates – 1.200 persons



 – 2006/2007 – Scoala I-VIII Miron Costin Suceava

  • Purpose: to partially make up for the absence of the parents in the children’s lives
  • Objectives: assistance and support in homework preparation, supplementary school activities, enhancing cooperation between children and teachers, development of communication skills, identification of their passions, informing and education about their rights and responsibilities, mitigating the risk of work exploitation, enhancing participation level on decisions concerning them, extracurricular activities.
  • Included also courses for caretakers or for the single parent at home focused on: 1. The role and the importance of family in early education and development, 2. Support methods, 3. Analysis of parenting styles, 4. Awareness of the risks, 5. Solutions for adaptation issues.



  1. TE IUBESTE MAMA/ MAMA LOVES YOU/ MAMA TI VUOLE BENE https://teiubestemamasilviadumitrache.wordpress.com/about/

    • Very poor information and visibility.
      • 2011 – Association of Romanian Women from Italy (in partnership with the National Association of Librarians, Italian Embassy, Romanian General Consulate in Milano)
      • Psychological support for children and parents
      • Created a “portal”/platform that offers the possibility of constant audiovisual interaction. (i don’t know what that means, i can’t find anything)
      • Sensitizing the community about the new risk group – children with separated families.
      • Educating parents regarding communication and children’s evolution.



  1. Erasmus+ ROBIN – Consolidating competences to build inclusion through a new learning methodologyby Terre des Hommes Romania. 2015


  • Romania, Austria, Spain, Bulgaria, Italy
  • Offering education professionals from “Second Chance” programs the tools to support left behind children in their educational pursuit.
  • RESULTS: research study,
    • analysis reports (teachers’ needs to facilitate social inclusion, integrated learning methodology based on experiential learning)
    • a handbook offering the methodology of inclusive education focused on learning, coaching and support through psycho-social activities.





  • 2 researches
  • Non-formal education → intervention in 3 rural communities: socio-educational activities created with communal schools. Objective: preventing/reducing negative effects
    • Special counselling for children
    • Handbook- Intervention model in communities with left behind children
  • Non-formal education handbook



  1. Grundtvig learning partnership project 2012-2014 (Czech, Poland, Latvia, Lituania, Romania, Turkey)

  • https://sites.google.com/site/gruntvigcesmp/






  • ORGANIZATIONS working for left behind children and/or migrant parents


  • A Terre des hommes (Tdh) delegation, the most important Swiss child protection organization, set up in 1960
    • Relevant project:
      • ICAMnet – Inclusion and integration of children affected by migration – Children Affected by Migration – Erasmus+ 2019-2021 (Italy, Spain, Romania, United Kingdom)
        • The aim of the ICAMnet project is to increase inclusion and improve the learning capacity of migrant primary and secondary school children.
        • Specially trained leaders work to improve the learning capacity of all students and to address the SEL-type (Social-Emotional Learning) needs of those affected by migration and to help them overcome the disadvantages of separation, trauma and loss.
        • An important feature of ICAM is the integration of parent / guardian education into the school project, to provide additional support to those families affected by migration and to encourage SEL continuity for the whole family.
        • The project will develop and test the dissemination and improvement of ICAM in all schools at county or city level in 6 European countries


  • Alternative Sociale (Social Alternatives) – Direct social assistance services for caregivers (2005-2016): https://www.alternativesociale.ro/
    • Relevant publications:
      • „Handbook for professionals working with children home alone due to parents migrating for work” (2009)
      • Guidebook for parents migrating for work” (2009)






  • From 2010 onwards, UNICEF organizes parental education programs in partnership with local authorities and NGOs

Enhancing parental skills to stimulate:

  • Respectful and affectionate interactions between parents and children
  • Learning support and opportunities
  • Exchanging experience between parents and mutual support
  • Protection against physical perils
  • Proper nutrition and medical care.
  • Together with HoltiS and Ministry of Education – created the platform: educatieparentala.ro – with a membership of 800 educators and 31000 parents and tutors who benefited from support within parental education classes.
  • Developed the Parental Education National Strategy 2018-2025. – WITHDRAWN AT THE INTERVENTION OF CONSERVATIVE ORGANIZATIONS


  • Conducted and published a research study: PARENTAL EDUCATION IN ROMANIA – 2011


  • 18 – parental education providers (out of 30 identified by DGASPC)
  • Relevant information:
    • There is a shortage of training and preparation in the field of parental education, especially in terms of programs at the local level
    • Parental education programs at the national level are characterized by ambiguous standards for training and for practice
    • Types of parental education programs:
      • oriented towards the school and preschool environment. Most of these programs run within educational institutions;
      • programs for young children (0-3 years)\
      • programs for parents with children with disabilities
    • In general, it can be seen that local programs of parental education have a predominantly psychological inspiration (inspired by psychological theories of child development), and national programs focus mainly on the social aspects of parenting, childhood, family and parental roles and capitalizing on the theory of social learning.



    • HOLT Romania (part of holt international) – COnsultancy and Social Services for Children and Parents → adult education publications

What is parental education? Holt Model Romania

2003, published by Holt Romania – FCSSCF in partnership with UNICEF.

Promoting parental education through the development of Resource Centers for Parents, 2003

+ leading training courses

→ adult trainers course

→ parental education: How to become better parents?





  • The National Program for Parental Education





  • „How to become better parents” (Holt România)
    • Developing a system for training parental educators, their supervision and accreditation – 2009
  • “Come to school!” 2010 – 2013 (Holt România)


  • “Educate like this” (Our Children Fund)
    • in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Research and Innovation



  • the program “Educate like this” was taken over by the Ministry of Education and Research in 2000, as the National Program for Parental Education in Preschool Education (UNICEF, 2009)
    • The course, addressed to parents with children between 3 and 12 years old, promotes basic principles of the parent-child relationship
    • Created human resources specialized in parental education were formed in each county.
    • A number of over 4400 kindergartens and almost 500 schools from all over the country have been included in this program and periodically organize parental education courses according to the “Educate like this!” Method.
    • Our Children’s Foundation made available to each school inspectorate numerous copies of course support, auxiliary materials, videotapes, all to support the continuation of the project locally.




  • Specific needs of migrant parents and of left behind children based on the researched information


  • Parental education courses and seminaries organized on a periodic basis at the level of local councils is one of the recommended solutions developed in the National Interest Program developed by the National Authority for Children’s Rights Protection.
  • The information and counselling of migrant parents about the rights, obligations, opportunities and responsibilities is an essential step towards improving the situation of separated families due to migration.
  • There is a strong need for information campaigns for migrant parents regarding legal obligations and that, ultimately, encourage and cultivate family unity and an open, continuous communication.
  • There is a strong need to consolidate social assistance services, especially to extend their activity at local rural level.
  • Information about all the support services they can access (organized by the main NGOs) and the estimated impact of their results.
  • The people who are truly mostly involved in the evolution of left behind children are the teachers → it is important to involve them in the dissemination of the project.
  • It is important that the parental education programs be either addressed to the unique parent still at home and to caretakers or to involve them in the strategy of enhancing the relation between the migrant parent and the child.
  • There is a need not only for informational intervention among migrant parents BUT ALSO towards the unique parent at home and caretakers, but also for psychological and social support.
  • The provided information should be offered not only in written informational support, but also in an interactive way that could trigger an emotional understanding of all the implications of the separation
  • There is a need for training and preparation in the field of parental education, especially in terms of programs at the local level
  • There is no parental educational course addressed precisely to migrant parents.