Who is a family assistant and what does his job involve?

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It happens that a family experiences difficulties in fulfilling the care and educational function in its life. In such a situation, she may receive support from the commune in the form of a family assistant. What functions and tasks does a family assistant have? Let's check it out!

Who is a family assistant?

The profession of a family assistant was introduced in the Act of 9 June 2011 on supporting the family and the system of foster care. It aims to support families with upbringing problems, but also to change the system of care for children who are deprived of parental care.

Each commune is obliged to help families that experience difficulties in fulfilling their care and educational functions. In a situation where the social welfare center receives information about a family in which there are problems with the care and upbringing of minor children, it orders a family community interview.The head of the Social Welfare Center, after receiving an interview confirming the existence of problems in the family, forwards the questionnaire to the family assistant.

The Act of 9 June 2011 on supporting the family and foster care system was passed "for the benefit of children who need special protection and help from adults, the family environment, an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding, for the sake of their harmonious development and future independence. life, to ensure the protection of their rights and freedoms, for the good of the family, which is the basic unit of society and the natural environment for development, and for the good of all its members, especially children, in the conviction that effective help for a family experiencing difficulties in caring for and raising children and effective protection and assistance for children can be achieved through the cooperation of all persons, institutions and organizations working with children and parents ”.

The family assistant aims to work with the family not only in educational problems, but also in everyday matters. The help provided by him consists in support in overcoming difficulties, in improving the life situation, so that in the future the family will overcome its own problems on its own.

Family assistant - what are his tasks?

Cooperation with the family is based on a work plan, which is assumed to be long-term. The family assistant works with her for 2-3 years on average, depending on the needs. If the family does not show willingness and commitment to cooperate with him, it is possible to decide to terminate it early.

The tasks of the family assistant are set out in Art. 15 sec. 1 of the Act on supporting the family and foster care system, which include in particular:

  1. developing and implementing a specific plan of work with the family in cooperation with family members;
  2. help in acquiring the skills of proper household management;
  3. providing help to families in solving social and psychological problems, as well as educational problems;
  4. motivating the family to raise professional qualifications and supporting social activity of families;
  5. assistance in searching for gainful employment and its maintenance;
  6. cooperation with a foster family, a family children's home, a care and educational institution in which a child from a family in difficulties was placed;
  7. providing support to children, in particular by participating in psychoeducational classes;
  8. undertaking interventions and remedial actions in the event of a threat to the safety of children and families;
  9. keeping records related to work with the family, periodic assessment of the family situation, but also monitoring the functioning of the family after the end of work with the family;
  10. drawing up, at the request of the court, opinions about the family and its members.

A family assistant may work with several families at the same time, depending on the degree of difficulty of the tasks performed.

The total number of families under the assistant's care may not exceed fifteen.

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Who can become a family assistant?

A person employed as a family assistant must meet several formal requirements that are specified in Art. 12 sec. 1 of the Act on supporting the family and the foster care system.

I expect from people applying for the position of a family assistant:

  • higher education in the field of pedagogy, sociology, family science, but also higher education in any field, which will be supplemented by training in working with family and children or postgraduate studies. Such training must be documented with at least one year of work experience with children, family;
  • secondary education with training in working with children or family and documented at least 3 years of work experience in this field;
  • that in the past and when applying for the position of assistant, they would not be deprived of parental responsibility, and parental responsibility may not be suspended or limited;
  • fulfillment of the maintenance obligation - in the event that such an obligation towards it results from the enforcement order;
  • no criminal record with a valid sentence for an intentional crime or an intentional fiscal crime.

To sum up, the task of a family assistant is, independently of social workers, to deal only with help and work with families that have difficulties in fulfilling the care and educational function. A family assistant works with the family, motivating it to actively cooperate in the implementation of a specific plan. This work is also carried out in the case of temporary placement of the child outside the family.