WORKSTREAM ACTIVITY: parent training
The Centar za Autizam (CZA) is a governmental organisation based in Zagreb which provides a range of educational, vocational and social services to individuals with autism, those with learning disabilities and their families across Croatia. It has bases in Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and Nova Gradiska . The CZA is committed to meeting the needs of these individuals and their families, addressing their education, emotional and spiritual welfare and wellbeing.
Founded in 1981, its programmes include:
- a pre-school programme, for a total of 213 children
- an education programme for 7-15 year olds
- a holiday programme – including opportunities for young people to goto the countryside
- a sports club
- an adult day care programme, for 86 individuals
- a learning disability programme, for 94 individuals in education classes, day care and work settings
- accommodation , for 60 adults and 12 children.
- The age range of services users is from under three years to those in their fifties. A range of therapists are based within Centre, which also provides crisis support and consultation services to families.
The Centre works closely with local communities, with local industry and with academic partners. For example its adult housing programme has been developed in conjunction with the local neighbourhood residents’ organisation, with utility companies such as Croatian Electricity and Croatian Waste Water, and with the University of Zagreb. A cooperative company run by young people with autism is based there, producing ceramic, textiles and artworks which are then sold, developing the young people’s entrepreneurial talents. The Centre also produces an annual academic journal, ‘Autism’.
The CZA is the major governmental organisation in Croatia working with individuals with autism and their families. Over its 30+ year history it has developed close links with those developing policy and planning, with parent organisations within Croatia and with academic partners. Its methods of working with individuals with autism are based on a sound academic basis (e.g. the use of structure) and are an excellent ‘fit’ for the other partners in the project. As such the Centar is the obvious choice of partner within Croatia.