STREP was established in 1995 in response to the absence of social services focussed on work with children endangered by child neglect and their families. There was a gap in the social services network. Although the risks of mental deprivation in institutionalized children were known, the most wide-spread solution of situations of endangered children was institutional care at that time. The statistical material available showed that the most frequent reasons for placing young children in institutional care were social reasons. The Czech Republic has been criticized by UNICEF for the absence of the comprehensive policy applying to children and prevention focussed on reducing the number of children separated from their parents, and the insufficient measures leading to shortening the length of their stay in institutional care facilities. This unsatisfactory situation stemmed from the development after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 when the Czech Republic faced the deterioration in the socio-economic situation and the statesman concentrated mainly on economic laws.

The main objective was to develop and provide an alternative programme to the standard approach of the state administration and to establish an integrated conception of work with socially endangered families in legislative amendments within the framework of the transformation of the Czech Republic´s social policy.
At the beginning, the association operated on a voluntary basis, which had an extremely limiting effect on opportunities for the project implementation and the promotion of its ideas in practice. After gaining its first grants in 1997, it became possible to put activities of the association on a professional basis.

The further development of the association was significantly assisted by the securing of financial support from the Open Society Fund (OSF), and the participation of employees at expert conferences organized by the Open Society Institute New York.

At a time when STREP established its first Child and Family Help Centre in 1997 with one full-time and one part-time employee, most of the professionals did not trust in the idea of systematic help to families of endangered children. Nowadays there are three Child and Family Help Centres run within STREP with eleven full-time employees working with children, their parents and siblings on the improvement of their family situation in order that children do not have to be separated from their families and placed in institutional care or they are allowed to return home.

Vera Bechynova, the founder and managing director of STREP, was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2001. Ashoka is the global association of the world´s leading social entrepreneurs with system changing solutions for world´s most urgent social problems.