'Families need support here and now, not in 15 years'

Problems of large and foster families have been discussed in Tatarstan

Over the past ten years, the number of large families in Tatarstan has grown from 24 thousand to almost 41 thousand, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Protection of the Republic Elmira Zaripova said on 3 February. Raising children requires serious material costs, the chairman of the Large Families of the Republic of Tatarstan NGO, Artem Kuznetsov, added, however, he believes that before introducing new support measures, it is necessary to monitor compliance with existing ones. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

“In ten years we have practically grown by 2 times”

“In the republic, only through our ministry, 24 billion rubles are annually allocated for measures to support families with children. The result must be reflected in an increase in the number of large families. If in 2012 there were 24 thousand large families, today there are 40,944 families. In ten years we have practically grown by 2 times. There are 130 thousand children in these families. Families see their horizons and make plans. This means that there are incomes and opportunities for the maintenance of children," Elmira Zaripova said.

According to statistics cited by the head of the Ministry of Labour, most often Tatarstan large families apply for the provision of medicines to children under six years of age:

“The second most popular support is a 30% subsidy for housing and communal services. There is also a subsidy for transportation for children in a large family. This is also the support of additional education so that children can go not only to school, but also to clubs. If there are disabled children in the family and the income is below the subsistence minimum, we make sure that the income for each family member reaches the subsistence minimum.

In Tatarstan, there are measures aimed at increasing the birth rate in rural areas. Some of them, according to the minister, contribute to reducing the age of birth of a child.

“There are measures aimed at stimulating the birth, first of all, we support rural mothers," Zaripova noted. “We have about 44 different programmes being implemented today for the development of rural infrastructure. Along with the development of infrastructure, the construction of hospitals, schools, there should be support in terms of demography. If a woman gives birth to her first child before the age of 25, she receives 50,000 rubles once, and if she gives birth to her third child before the age of 29, she receives 100,000 rubles. This measure is also aimed at reducing the age of birth of the child, today we are seeing aging at first birth. Now women make a decision about the birth of their firstborn quite late.”

According to statistics cited by the head of the Ministry of Labour, most often Tatarstan large families apply for the provision of medicines to children under six years of age. Photo: tatarstan.ru

In principle, as Elmira Zaripova notes, there are support measures for all families, regardless of income:

“At the municipal level, there is support for any family in the form of compensation for kindergarten fees. Compensation is set at 20% for the first child, 50% — for the second, 70% — for the third. If the average per capita income in a family is below 20,000 rubles, there is additional compensation. Families with three children and low incomes do not pay for kindergarten in our country.”

“Foster family today is a priority area that we work on”

Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Tatarstan Alsu Asadullina spoke about the development of the institute of foster family in the republic, statistics indicate an improvement in the situation:

“At the beginning of the year, we have more than 9,700 orphans. I would like to say that in 2018 there were more than 11 thousand such children. There is a trend to reduction, it means that parents make the right decisions to keep the family, keep the child in the family, reconsider their behaviour, their lifestyle. Ninety-four percent of children live in substitute families, which is a very good figure. Only 6% of children live in state institutions. 9,116 children live in foster and substitute families today, of which 2,604 children already live in adoptive families.

Both federal benefits and regional allowances are provided for foster families and guardians. Alsu Asadullina notes that last year there was an indexation in some areas:

“For preschoolers, they amounted to 9,357 rubles, and for schoolchildren — 10,790 rubles. For persons who have reached the age of 18, a monthly cash allowance of 11,222 rubles is provided during the period of study in secondary schools. Remuneration is provided for guardians and trustees who perform their duties for a fee in the amount of 3,000 rubles for each ward. Besides, the Family Code of the Republic of Guardians establishes an additional payment of 50% of the federal minimum wage established by law for parents with pedagogical or medical education.”

Alsu Asadullina: “Ninety-four percent of children live in substitute families, which is a very good figure” Only 6% of children live in state institutions.” Photo: Maksim Platonov

At the same time, according to Alsu Asadullina, 30% of the established amount of remuneration is provided for the upbringing of an adopted child under the age of three, or for the upbringing of a disabled child, or for the upbringing of a child with disabilities in physical or mental development. This is 900 rubles for each child. There are also social support measures:

“The law of the republic establishes social support measures for families with three or more children under the age of 18, including foster children. Subsidies for the purchase of medicines, utilities, scholarships in professional educational institutions and universities. The most important issue is providing housing for orphaned children. New apartments with a fine finish are provided. The control is complete. Since 2020, our children in the number of 600 people have been receiving apartments. Residential premises are provided both in cities and in rural areas," says Alsu Asadullina.

“There is a lot of talk about new measures, but the existing measures are not always implemented”

The chairman of the Large Families of the Republic of Tatarstan, Artem Kuznetsov, noted that raising children requires serious material costs, therefore financial support measures are necessary. However, before introducing new measures, it is necessary to monitor compliance with existing ones, he said:

“A large number of children is a heavy burden. On the one hand, financial problems, on the other — happiness. Without love in the family, it is difficult to imagine the appearance of a large number of children. There is a lot of talk about new measures, but the existing measures are not always implemented. Some of the support measures from the law on large families are not being implemented. Subsidies for building materials, an interest-free loan for housing construction, free school uniforms for large families, free meals for large families. It is necessary to analyze and see which of the existing measures do not work in full.

Artem Kuznetsov noted that raising children requires serious material costs, therefore financial support measures are necessary. However, before introducing new measures, it is necessary to monitor compliance with existing ones. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

Another important issue, according to Artem Kuznetsov, is the queues that have stretched for many years to provide housing for large families.

“The issue of housing is the most urgent. The more kids there are, the bigger the issue with square metres. There is a regional programme to improve housing conditions for families with five or more children. About 200-250 million are allocated from the regional budget. These sums can improve the living conditions of 35-40 families per year. And there are an average of 600 families in the queue. The queue stretches from 15 years and more. We understand that families need support here and now, not in 15 years. We need additional funds, about three billion," said the chairman of the Large Families of the Republic of Tatarstan.”

Svetlana Yelakova, the chairperson of My Vmeste regional organisation of foster families of Tatarstan, drew attention to that only families where their children are born receive the status of a large family. If one of three children is adopted, the family will not receive the status of a large family and, accordingly, benefits.

“Many successful large families move to other regions. Foster parent support measures in the Republic of Tatarstan have not been indexed since 2007. There are large families who take orphans, children with disabilities, they are forced to leave work to raise them. The salary of the foster parent needs to be indexed. Living on the salary of a foster parent — 3,000 rubles minus 13% — is unrealistic. In Tatarstan, the salary of a foster parent is lower than in other regions of Russia," she stressed.

Emil Ziyangirov
Tatarstan