Measure 1.2: Cross-border initiatives targeting the exchange of people and ideas to enhance professional and civil society cooperation

Project title: Together Towards A Goal

Project budget:

  Project value EU contribution
Republic of Serbia € 53,942.00 € 45,840.00
Montenegro € 76,847.00 € 65,169.00
TOTAL € 130,789.00 € 111,009.00

Beneficiary of funds in the Republic of Serbia: Socal Care Center Prijepolje

Partner: Municipality of Prijepolje

Beneficiary of funds in Montenegro: Public Institution Social Care Center for municipalities Bijelo Polje and Mojkovac

Partner: Municipality of Bijelo Polje

Area of implementation:
• Montenegro: Municipality of Bijelo Polje
• Serbia: Municipality of Prijepolje

Project duration: 27/10/2012 – 26/10/2013

Project objectives: The overall objective of the project is to enhance the professional cooperation in the border area to improve the lives of children with antisocial behaviour and youth in conflict with law in the community. The specific objective of the project is to create professional and technical prerequisites for increased integration of children with anti social behaviour and youth in conflict with the law back into the community.
Activities and results of the project:

The problem of socially integrating children and young people with disturbed social behaviour and in conflict with the law is unfortunately present in the cross-border region; therefore, the first activity conducted by the Project was gathering representatives of local institutions that have a direct or indirect connection with this issue. Specifically, social workers, psychologists, special educators, lawyers and other specialists from Bijelo Polje and Prijepolje underwent intensive seminars and training courses that have significantly raised the level of knowledge on the subject of assisting children and adolescents with conduct disorder in society. Over the course of these seminars, attendees had the opportunity to share their working experiences from this field and become familiar with examples of good practice in other areas related to efficient ways of solving these problems.

With the support of the Project, delegations from Bijelo Polje and Prijepolje, composed of representatives of social welfare centres, local self-governments and local court units, who are most closely connected with the problems of antisocial behaviour among children and young people, participated in a study visit to Berlin. This educational journey has allowed them to become familiar with the contemporary practice of the European Union in the prevention and work with children and youth who are in conflict with the law. Besides further acquainting themselves with the legal and institutional framework of the EU in this field, they became familiarised with practical solutions of certain local communities in terms of managing individual cases of children and youth with antisocial behaviour and in conflict with the law. Many models and methods of work that German colleagues utilise shall be included into the practice of those competent in the Serbian and Montenegrin municipalities covered by the project. Examples of good practice shall make a significant contribution to solving these problems in local communities and increase the efficiency of the integration process of children and youth with social behaviour disabilities into regular social activities.

Relevant stakeholders from local communities in Bijelo Polje and Prijepolje had the opportunity to harmonise new knowledge and experiences with national institutional and legal frameworks through discussions during round tables organised in these municipalities. In the presence of experts in the field of delinquency of children and young people, and in the presence of all local stakeholders responsible for prevention and work with children and young people in conflict with the law, working groups drafted corresponding protocols on cooperation for individual institutions, thus establishing a model of work and improved work efficiency in solving problems of juvenile delinquency within the framework of national legislation in both Serbia and Montenegro.

In addition to defining the framework for professionals working with children and young people in conflict with the law, the project has paid special attention to end users. Specifically, two five-day camps were organised in Montenegro and Serbia for a group of 20 girls and boys from Bijelo Polje and Prijepolje, who were registered with social behavioural disturbance within local centres for social work. Educational workshops, sports facilities and other contents, all together titled “We Can Do It”, provided children who were camp participants support in the form of new knowledge and experiences that shall contribute to their integration among friends in their local communities and contribute to the implementation of healthy lifestyles. Children and young people who participated in the camps were mostly from families of lower socio-economic status and many of them had the opportunity for the first time to learn about the natural beauty and rich cultural and historical legacy of environments located near their camps, such as Sutomore and Tara Mountain.

In addition to the camps, the project team organised a one day trip for children with disorders in social behaviour in Serbia and Montenegro. During these trips, children and young people of various ages and different ethnic groups, including Roma, were introduced to the beauties of Mokra Gora, Drvengrad and rode the Šargan Eight railway. Children from Montenegro visited the Memorial Centre “4th December”, a Catholic Church and mosque in Prijepolje, as well as the Mileševa Monastery. Children from Serbia enjoyed the beauties of the National Park Biogradska Gora, cultural and historical monuments in the town of Kolašin, visited the Church of St. Peter and a mosque, as well as the Homeland Museum in Bijelo Polje.

Participants of camps and excursions expressed their sincere satisfaction with the acquired knowledge and experience they brought back from these trips.

The professional approach to solving the problem of juvenile delinquency in the broadest sense was complemented by activities aimed at families of children with problematic social behaviour. Special educational seminars and workshops for parents of children in conflict with the law have been organised within the Project. “Parenting and Education Styles” and “School for Parents” are seminars that in a large measure helped parents to give full and proper support to their children and assist them to engage in a normal life in local social communities. A sincere commitment and the desire of parents to give their best and persevere in the process of reintegration of their children had been noted.

A significant result of the Project, which was achieved in close cooperation with local self-governments in Bijelo Polje and Prijepolje, was the infrastructure and technical equipping of day care centres for children in conflict with the law. In addition, expert teams also prepared associated software packages that provide a methodology basis and instructions for daily operation of centres. Day care centres shall give an additional contribution to the sustainability of the results achieved by the Project because they provide the basis for further work of local experts with children and young people who need help. Under the auspices of day care centres, children shall have the opportunity to engage in educational, creative and leisure activities that shall expand their knowledge and skills and certainly be of great benefit in life and work.

All these project activities and results are continuously presented to the public through coordinated actions of the project team. In this manner, a contribution has made in raising awareness of local communities and on the need for active participation in processes involving the integration of children with problems in social behaviour into ordinary life, which is one of the key values that each local community through joint efforts needs to establish in order to care about them. Electronic and print media, public gatherings and promotion of these problems have informed a significant number of citizens in the cross-border area.


Nail Kajević, Director of the Socal Care Center Prijepolje
“Together with colleagues from the Centre for Social Work of the municipalities of Bijelo Polje and Pljevlja, we have demonstrated ability and absorbed grants from European funds to promote good neighbourly relations, improve stability and cooperation between professionals working with children and young people in conflict with the law, thus contributing to the further integration of the region into the European Union.”

Vanja Mašković, Project Coordinator from Bijelo Polje
“The aim of the project has been achieved. There has been an increase of professional cooperation in cross-border regions in the fields of improving living conditions of children and youth in the community, especially children and youth in conflict with the law, and exchanging experiences on existing legislation.”

Zlata Lukač, Director of the Public Institution Social Care Center for municipalities Bijelo Polje and Mojkovac

“The project’s objective is to increase cooperation among professionals and trained experts working with children and young people in conflict with the law in the cross-border region in order to solve problems related to upbringing and behaviour of children and young people, and to raise the capacity of experts working with children and young people in conflict with the law, to increase capacity and raise educational competences of parents and to exchange experiences on the existing legislation.“