Children with problem behaviour

Children with problem behaviour are children whose behaviour significantly deviates from the generally accepted standards of behaviour

The term behavioral problems of children and young people is a collective term for various behaviours, conditioned by biological, psychological, social or pedagogical factors, for which the child or young person deviates from age-appropriate behaviour, situation and social norms, and adversely or dangerously affects himself and/or other individuals or social systems.

Behavioural problems can be:

  • Risky behaviours - behaviours in which a person puts his or her own health, physical and mental integrity and property at risk. The consequences of this behaviour are low in intensity in the present, but can be a basis for bad outcomes in the future. Examples of: unjustified absences, illicit late dates, experimenting with cigarettes and drugs, occasional alcohol consumption, school and home violations, some forms of promiscuous behavior.
  • Behavioural difficulties - behaviours in which a person violates social and/or legal norms for a certain period of time or suddenly. The consequences of this behavior require professional assistance. Examples: theft, running away from home, hobo, school leaving, self-harm, social isolation, driving without permission, individual violent outbursts, major disciplinary offenses at school.
  • Behavioural disorders - behaviours whereby a person over a long period of time intensively endangers his everyday functioning in several areas of life and/or endangers others or property. These are behaviours that require the reaction of specialised experts and institutions, typically from several sectors at the same time. Examples: serious crimes and misdemeanours (burglary, robbery, violence, drug trafficking, rape), addiction, attempted suicide.

Who to turn to for help

Regarding behavioral problems in your child, you can contact:
  • responsible professional person in school - teacher, professional associate of the school (pedagogue, psychologist, social pedagogue, speech therapist),
  • experts from the regional offices of the Croatian Social Work Institute.

The addresses and telephone numbers of the regional offices of the Croatian Social Work Institute can be found on the website of the Croatian Social Work Institute.

Support for children and young people with behavioural problems in the social welfare system

The professional worker of the Croatian Institute for Social work is obliged to examine the family circumstances of children or young people with behavioural problems. In accordance with the powers prescribed by Family law, it may impose or propose to the court the imposition of a measure for the protection of the rights and well-being of the child, or assess that there is a need to provide social services for professional assistance and support.
Social welfare institutions, as part of their services, provide children and young people aged seven to 21 with various forms of care and support: caring for the upbringing, education, education, health and all other needs of each individual child and counseling and support to parents.

Responsibility of children and minors for criminal offences and misdemeanours in the Republic of Croatia

  • a child is a person up to the age of 14 - is not criminally responsible and cannot be prosecuted for criminal or misdemeanour proceedings, but is treated on the basis of measures for the protection of the rights and well-being of the child imposed on parents and the provision of social services
  • a minor is a person aged 14 to 18 - criminal and misdemeanor responsible;
  • younger adults are persons aged 18 to 21 - they are criminally and misdemeanor responsible.
Juveniles and juveniles are sentenced to educational measures, security measures and juvenile imprisonment in accordance with the Youth Courts Act. In misdemeanour proceedings, juveniles and young adults can be issued educational measures (court reprimand, special obligations and referral to the Centre for Education), protective measures and sentences (juvenile imprisonment and fine) in accordance with the Misdemeanour Act.
When to ask for help

Get help if:

  • the child is experiencing some of the behavioural problems listed above
  • you have difficulty raising your child (setting boundaries for your child, consistency of educational procedures)
  • the child has learning problems (attention and concentration problems, reading and writing problems, difficulty mastering material)
  • the child has health problems that cause him to show behavioural problems
  • the child is exposed to violence at school
  • the child has a problem with a type of addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.)
  • you need support and support in the current unfavorable situation
  • you have information about the endangerment of children or other people in your neighborhood.