How an Interconnections online Forum is helping enhance early child and family support in Croatia

‘This discussion was a very good learning experience to me. Thank you Peter and everyone here for sharing your thoughts and good practise’ – a participant

Peter Limbrick writes: These Forums are in-depth e-mail discussions that continue over a specified month. They are facilitated by Peter Limbrick and participants join in at times convenient to them. Discussions can be deeper than in Zoom and participants are not tied down to dates and times.

Here is how it worked in the recent Croatia’s Form during November 2020:

  • Interconnections and Mali dom in Zagreb agreed to organise a Form on the subject of enhancing early child and family support. It was agreed there would be some focus on Team Around the Child (TAC) and that the language would be English.
  • Mali dom set up a new e-mail group for the Forum and invited people from key organisations across the country to join. The invitation included relevant information about the subject to be discussed.
  • On 1st November Peter sent an e-mail to the new Forum with text to begin discussions. Peter responded to all comments and questions as he would in a seminar.
  • As the discussions developed, Peter and other participants introduced new topics within the theme.
  • These discussions continued during the whole of the month.
  • At the end, Peter wrote a summary of the main points from the discussions. This included ways forward.

Mail dom kept the e-mail group open (after the Forum with Peter concluded) so they could continue developing the ideas that came from the Forum using the Croatian language.

Mali dom collected feedback from participants and wrote this summary:

'This online forum was new experience for professionals and they expressed that it satisfied their expectations. They expressed increase in their knowledge about TAC after the Forum, compared to beginning.  They were very satisfied with duration and communication during this Forum. All of them would recommend it to other colleagues. They are interested to participate in future events. The most useful part of this Forum was communication with professionals from different disciplines and other programs/organization, sharing experiences and possibility of implementation of theoretic knowledge in practice.' - from Martina Celizić <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Typical comment from a participant:

Dear everyone, it was very valuable to hear/read you experiences, practices, and thoughts. Thank you Peter, colleagues from Mali dom, and colleagues from other institutions for sharing them with us. I have learned a lot. Hope we will have a chance to meet in person (all of us) someday in future, with even more experiences, and progress in this area, so we can discuss it again (or just listen, and learn). Dear Peter, you are very skilful in leading forum discussions. The flow of the questions and discussions was very productive.... Thank you again!

From my point of view, it was a very stimulating experience that allowed me to go deep into the subject and to spend more time in discussions than would normally be possible at a seminar. The Forum format has the advantage over Zoom that we all joined in when we wanted to and had plenty of time to think before asking questions or responding to them.

There is information here if you want to consider a Forum for your agency, region or country during 2021. Please get in touch if you have questions – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

share your information  Cartoon © Martina Jirankova-Limbrick 2011