Child Welfare Advocate At Odds With Community ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The head of the Advice Center for Families and Children has said the new 19 + 9 euro monthly state benefit per child is enough, angering all major child welfare organizations.

“Our principle is not one of conflict with the powers and with those who decide, but to cooperate, which often means making compromises,” Marika Ratnik, who heads the advice center, told Eesti Päevaleht.

Ratnik created a now defunct umbrella organization to represent children's interests, initially attracting the big names in the community like the Union for Child Welfare and UNICEF, and began to send out press releases, including adding its support to the government's child support system, and claiming to speak on behalf of its members.

Most members of Ratnik's umbrella organization left, criticizing this as an opaque way of doing business, adding that the government should increase child support immediately, the daily said today.

Ratnik collected 35,000 euros in grants to set the organization up, while her other organization, the Advice Center for Families and Children received 60,000 euros from the Ministry of Social Affairs last year, both more substantial numbers than the normal 20,000 euros given to other child welfare organizations annually.

The state pays parents 19 euros each month per child, and from July 1, less well-off families can request a further nine euro monthly benefit.