Our mother and father who we were brought into this world by help us grow and discover the world, be children, dream, create, follow rules, work, become a personality, meet people, communicate, create a family and raise children. This is a continuously spinning wheel of life: a generation grows, matures and raises a new generation. The mission of the Family Relations Institute is to help parents become better parents, to help children grow and tackle challenges and crises, to help couples find ways to communicate positively, to provide further knowledge for professionals who work with families in different areas. All that is important and useful to the family is important to us.
The main goal of our institution is to excel in the delivery of services aimed at improving the quality of life and well-being of the family. Our definition of well-being includes the presence of positive physical, emotional, social and work-related factors.
· to provide professional development programmes, training courses and seminars for professionals and give public lectures;
· to educate society, especially the younger generation, about the importance of healthy lifestyle and mental health care by publishing relevant scientific and educational literature;
· to reduce social exclusion and gender inequality by promoting a healthy work and family life balance
Important facts and dates
- In 2001 on the iniative of Roma Šerkšnienė, Birutė Kazilionytė, Gedas Malinauskas and Darius Leskauskas a non-governmental, non-profit organisation – the Institute of Family Relations was founded. The goals of the Institute are to take care of family mental health, to provide family and relationships services and preventative programmes at various life stages as well as to foster family values in the community. The Institute provides psycho-social services (individual psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy for adults, children and adolescents, counselling and assistance of psychologists and social workers, etc).
- In 2002 on the initiative of the Institute of Family Relations with support of Kaunas City Municipality and Open Society Fund Lithuania the first Day Care Centre of Psychosocial Rehabilitation for children with social, psychological and other problems as well as to their families was founded.
- Since 2008 a free of charge service has been provided for women who suffered from violence as well as for men who committed acts of violence (in the framework of the Project funded by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania).
- In 2009 the project on work with aggressive children was implemented and new methodology applied. Efficiency research was performed.
- In 2010 the project on training the staff (heads of departments) of Kaunas Municipal Administration’s Children Rights Protection Service was implemented.
- Since 2010 free of charge services have been provided for families overcoming crises (in the framework of the Project funded by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania).
- In 2009-2012 projects for social workers and the staff of children’s care homes were implemented. A business model to evaluate activities for effectiveness and efficiency was accomplished.
- In 2011-2012 the project on children’s emotional competences training programme was developed in 10 cities and towns of Lithuania. A new site www.veikmetodas.lt was created.
- Since 2003 the activity of Day Centre of Psychosocial Rehabilitation has been financed by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.
- In 2003 implementing Open Society Fund Lithuania, PHARE 2003 BAS and 2000 Access programmes services provided by Day Centre of Psychosocial Rehabilitation to children and their families were widened. Family psychotherapy and parenting skills development course/programme was started to provide for parents of the children attending the Day Centre.
- In 2004 the organisation was entered on the list of institutions providing teacher and education professional counselling.
- In 2004 – 2005 the staff of the Institute of Family Relations (further the Institute) in cooperation with Kaunas University of Medicine conducted an Introductory Course to Family Psychotherapy.
- In 2005 - 2008 in cooperation with Kaunas City Municipality Administration, Vytautas Magnus University and Kaunas Communication School the Institute was involved in the project of the European Community Initiative EQUAL “Work in Lithuania: development of integration of unemployed young citizens planning to go to foreign countries into the labour market of Lithuania by saving the social capital – family”. This project opened up an opportunity for the staff of the Institute to provide free services for a wider variety of clients, including people with other social problems.
- In 2006 the staff qualification as well as material and methodic resources were improved by implementing PHARE 2003 BAS programme funded project “Strengthening of mutual cooperation and exchange of experience between social establishments of Kaunas and Stockholm regions “ (new mattresses for relaxation, video camera, home cinema, computers and multimedia equipment were obtained).
- In 2007 the Institute became a methodical centre which periodically organises training courses for social workers and social workers’ assistants on various topics.
- In 2008 a cooperation agreement was signed with Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology and the Institute of Social Labour on work placement options offered to students by the Institute.
- In 2008 the programme “Asssistance to step family and foster parents – assistance to children” was implemented. It was aimed at looking for foster parents and step families, their training, counselling and assistance.
- Since 2008 integrated assistance has been provided free of charge for children and families who suffered from violence (in the framework of the Project funded by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania).
- In 2012 the project for long-term unemployed, women returning to work after a long-lasting break, for recipients of social allowance, social risk children and families was launched.
In 1998 on the initiative of a psychiatrist and psychotherapist Roma Šerkšniene Children and Adolescents’ Psychiatry Clinic was founded at Hospital of Kaunas University of Medicine Kaunas Clinics. Children and their families were provided with wide-range assistance. However, institutional assistance is only one of the ways to support families. In 2001 Institute of Family Relations was founded with the intention to help families and their members to overcome crises.
The number of staff increased as well as the range of services provided for a growing number of clients. As the number of clients was constantly growing, since 2002 the Institute, complying with the major objective to take care of comprehensive family welfare and its quality, has been administering various programmes which ensure free of charge services to be provided for the citizens of Kaunas City and Kaunas Region. The programmes are funded by Kaunas City Municipality, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania and the EU.
In 2002 Day Centre of Psychosocial Rehabilitation was opened at the Institute of Family Relations for children with social, psychological and other problems. The Day Centre cooperates with Kaunas Municipal and Kaunas Region Children Rights Protection Service, Kaunas City Municipality Administration Social Services Division, Mental Health Centre of Kaunas Municipality, schools and kindergartens of Kaunas.
Constant development and enhancement of cooperation of the Institute with communities of Kaunas City and Kaunas Region have revealed an obvious need for family services. The changing community, changing values and a growing need for services adjusted and widened directions of the activities: complex support is provided for abused children and their families, women who suffered from violence, men who committed acts of violence, as well as the search for and training of foster parents and step families. Services are provided for citizens of Kaunas City, Kaunas Region and Kaunas County.
The underlying direction of the Institute is support for the family. The staff of the Institute believes that professional development and training of professionals working with children in various fields is important in creating a healthy, safe and family-friendly environment. Consequently, the major activity guideline of the Institute is implementation of methodological work in Lithuania. In the library of the Institute the staff can find various literature sources. In 2007 the Institute of Family Relations became a methodological centre and is responsible for organising training courses for social workers and social worker assistants. Further information on the accredited programmes and staff training can be found in the section Knowledge and training.
Currently, there are 17 full-time employees at the Institute of Family Relations. They provide social, psychological, psychiatric and psychotherapeutical assistance, organise training courses for professionals and organisations, families and children.