Barents project helps families in Komi

Children in a Russian kindergarden (not related to story)

Some 1000 parents and children in the Komi Republic have received help through the Barents cooperation program “Children and youth at risk”.


Through targeted courses, different groups of people are helped to find better ways of communicating within the family. Among the programs that have been most popular in Komi are “The Incredible Years” – a social skill training program for parents and children in the age three to eight, “Aggression Replacement Training (ART)” - cognitive behavioral intervention for children and youth, and “What About Us?” - a course on relationship for couples with children with disabilities.

“Specialists in Komi have a very high level of professionalism,“ Head of the steering group of “Children and Youth at Risk” Pål Christian Bergstrøm says to Komiinform. “In Komi, protection of the family is given high priority at all level - from the political to the operational, something that is a key to success.”

All the methods are chosen based on documented effect with positive results from both Nordic and North-West Russian regions. According to the regional social service in Komi, the program has had a positive effect in the region. In 80% of the families has the relationship between parent and children and between the parents, improved. 

More than 700 parents and 300 children in Komi Republic have participated in different events organized within the framework of “Children and youth at risk”.

The Joint Working Group on Health and related Social Issues in the Barents cooperation adopted the sub-program ‘Children and Youth at Risk (CYAR) in March 2008. The purpose of the CYAR program is to increase cooperation efforts aiming to improve life conditions for the most vulnerable group of the child population in the Barents region.

The prioritized target groups in the program are families and children in a dangerous social situation, orphans and unaccompanied children, institutionalized children and youth, young offenders, children and youth with indicated or expressed behaviour problems, and children with disabilities.