Organised by the “Istituto degli Innocenti” for the Department of Family Policies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the seminar ‘Policies for large families’ was held on 15 December in Mestre, few kilometres from Venice.
The event it was part of a cycle of training meetings on the “law 285” which decides policies and funding for children and youth in 15 among the most populated cities in Italy, such as Tourin, Milan, Naples or Reggio Calabria. Large families were investigated under the sociological, demographic and economic point of view, with all the attendants underlying the lack of studies and data on big families.
Alfredo Caltabiano, the president of ANFN, the Italian Large Families Association, and ELFAC’s president Regina Maroncelli had the opportunity to explain who are large families today, where they live, and which challenges they face.
Mr. Caltabiano underlined how in Italy the low birth rates and the shrinking population is associated with the extinction of large families, that now represent around 1% of families and are the poorest among families.
The picture drowned by Regina Maroncelli about large families in Europe was a bit better, even if families with more children are often victims of a real “social stigma”. “Still, said ELFAC’s president, a large number of European children live in a large families: almost the half in Estonia, 39% of Croatian children, as it was revealed by recent studies in the two countries. Unfortunately, we have not enough data, but it has to be recognized that many children live in a large families and their conditions have to be taken into account carefully”.
The seminar gave the opportunity to Elfac’s and ANFN’s presidents to talk about the Italian and the European Network of Family-Friendly municipalities: “It is not a project only for large families, but it is a good way to improve the quality of life on local territories and the wellbeing of all”.
“I am very happy that the Italian Government is willing to know more and train better its delegates about large families- said Mrs. Maroncelli – I hope it is a change of attitude which will take us out of invisibility”.
In the picture: Regina Maroncelli and Alfredo Caltabiano outside the Candiani Centre where the Seminar took place