Portugal: 41 Municipalities honoured for their family friendly policies

For the seventh consecutive year the Observatory of the Most Family Responsible Municipalities (OAFR) awarded 41 Portuguese municipalities for their innovative family friendly policies. The Observatory was created by Portuguese Large Families’ Association in 2008 with the purpose of accompany, award and spread the best familiar responsible measures of Portuguese municipalities.

Free public transports for families, special water tariff conditions, deductions on the housing tax for families, support in the area of first childhood and free nurseries, partial payment of doctor’s appointments and medication, social canteens for families in need, etc. These are some examples of the social policies being implemented in these avant-guarde municipalities, who choose to invest in the families and the improvement of their quality of life.

Some of the groundbreaking programs are seen as future trends. Trends that the Observatory hopes will spread across Portugal, creating supportive family-friendly infrastructures and local networks.

In order to reduce fixed costs, unfair tariffs and taxes that don’t take in account the dimension and needs of a large family, Municipalities have been adjusting and recognizing the importance of social programs to support families in these times of crisis, giving families the opportunity to grow and fulfill their life projects. As the Deputy Minister of Local Government, João Taborda da Gama, stated “families are the basis of society, the cement that holds everything together” and it is important that they “feel good, they feel valued”. And municipalities might have an important role to play to assure better conditions and incentives to raise a family.

The ceremony took place on the 18th of November in Coimbra where more than 100 people were present to receive the award – a green flag – symbol of a Family Friendly Municipality.