Measures aimed at improving the demographic situation in Russia are indicated as a priority for the country.
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Today, in Moscow Vologda’s Governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov held a meeting of a working group devoted to preparation for a meeting of the State Council for family issues, maternity and childhood that will take place in Vologda next year.
Over the last years a number of laws including presidential Executive Orders were passed aiming to develop a system for protecting maternity and childhood. They stress the need to further support programmes for large families, in particular the provision of land plots for housing construction and payment of maternity capital. A number of Russian regions with an unfavourable demographic situation receive funding from the federal budget for the new benefits to families that have the third child and subsequent children. In 2017-2013 these measures made it possible to increase birth rates with government support.
Over the past seven years the natural population decline decreased by 2 times. Along with this, Russia’s birth rate has continued to grow, and the number of second and third births has increased too. The percentage of second births rose by 17,5%, while the percentage of third ones increased by 26,3%.
The experts of the working group should continue improving and further develop the demographic policy of the Russian Federation. Oleg Kuvshinnikov, who heads the working group stressed that demographic issues should be implemented with an active support of the civil society institutions and business community.
Several Russian regions can boast successful cooperation of this type, the Vologda Oblast among them. OAO Severstal, one of the world’s leading vertically integrated steel and steel related mining companies, is committed to charitable support. Their charitable priorities include programmes for children too. In 2006 Severstal initiated and began implementing a unique program, Road Home Program, which focuses on the comprehensive prevention of child neglect and social orphanhood in the town of Cherepovets.
The Road Home Program provides foster care for orphaned children and prevention of child neglect and social orphanhood, including early prevention. Road Home focuses on finding the solution to underlying problems resulting in orphanhood and neglect of underage children, and crisis in family relationships.
Road Home started as a joint project of Severstal, local authorities and social and psychological workers from a non-profit organization in Cherepovets. Having proven its efficiency, in June 2009, it was given the status of a regional program in the Vologda Region.
After taking part in the regional programs competition, Road Home received a grant from the Foundation for the Support of Children in Difficult Life Situations, which was created under the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation. Therefore, the sum available for working with families in crisis to prevent child neglect and social orphanhood in the Vologda Region is now funded from three sources – regional budget, funds from Severstal and the grant from the Foundation for the Support of Children.
Experts acknowledge that currently Cherepovets and the Vologda Region are among the best examples of a successful state-private partnership in resolving social orphanhood issues in Russia.
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