St.Petersburg-based non-governmental organization 'Doctors to Children'

DTC's mission is to protect the rights of at-risk children and families, and provide them with access to quality social, psychological and medical services. DTC's goals include: (1) Forming policies and public opinion around the issues of at-risk children and families, (2) Decreasing the number of neglected and abandoned children and at-risk children and families through prevention and multidisciplinary interventions, and (3) Providing access to high-quality medical, social and psychological care to at-risk children and families. To achieve these goals, DTC employs the following strategies: (1) Advocating for the rights of at-risk children and families; (2) Providing direct comprehensive ass...
Jun 23, 2014

Project's News

Club of Foster Families
Club of Foster Families

In early November 2013, the project staff were contacted by a foster mother (Irina, 36) requesting to enroll her in the School for Foster Parents for a repeated course of training. Despite the fact that she had completed the School four years before and adopted a one-year-old boy, she decided to refresh her knowledge to take one more child to her family. Irina attended all sessions, showed active participation in the group and shared her fostering experience eagerly with other participants. In the beginning of April 2014, by a court decision Irina adopted a six-month-old girl (Mila). The foster family was joined by a new member: a daughter for the happy parents, and a sister for their four-year-old son Volodya.

 Key achievements of the Foster Family Project
• Conducted two School for Foster Parents training cycles, each consisting of 12 training sessions;
• 16 people (13 families) trained through the School for Foster Parents;
• 15 prospective foster parents (12 families) received certificates of completing the School for Foster Parents;  
• Conducted one meeting of the Club of Foster Families;
• 20 families raising 32 foster children provided with the project support.

Club of Foster  Families
Club of Foster Families
Jun 20, 2014

MAMA+ PROJECT

MAMA+ Center
MAMA+ Center

Dear Friends,
We would like to update you on the stories of our clients, as well as successes achieved by the staff of the MAMA+ Project due to your support.

Marina and Kolya
The MAMA+ project staff first encountered with Marina at the maternity hospital. The woman had given birth to a wonderful son who was named Kolya. At that moment Marina was keeping her diagnosis secret for her family members.

The woman phoned to the MAMA+ social worker shortly after her discharge from the hospital. The project staff found that she was keeping her HIV status undisclosed to her family, which made it difficult for her to explain her frequent visits to medical institutions with Kolya, as well as ARV therapy intake, to her relatives. During the project’s first visit to the family, the woman started to work actively with MAMA+ psychologist in order to accept and disclose her diagnosis. Marina was provided with consultations on the needs and developmental specifics of a child under one year of age. As she experienced deprivation of her parental rights to her first child in the past, she was afraid the situation would repeat and kept much in herself. In such a stressful situation, she began to abuse alcohol.

In a short while, the same happened to Marina’s baby Kolya. First, the child was placed in a hospital. Then, by agreement with the child protection agencies, Kolya was put in a babies’ home until his mother resolved her problems with alcohol abuse.MAMA+ and city social service staff joined their efforts to develop a plan of assistance for the client. Marina visited her son regularly, bringing baby formula and napkins.

Marina and her husband received a course of anti-alcohol therapy. Kolya’s father found official employment. The project staff assisted the family in collecting all the required documents for the child, and prepared a separate package to register for children’s allowances. Due to MAMA+ support, Marina was able to overcome her fears and disclose her diagnosis to her husband.

On April 29, 2014, the child was returned to the family from the babies’ home. Presently, Marina is attending the MAMA+ Center actively with Kolya. The family united in their fight for the child.

We are grateful to all GlobalGiving participants, as this is due to your support that we were able to strengthen this family and prevent orphanage placement of the child. The timely assistance, including the provision of baby formula, baby care supplies and other things, was crucial for this family in such a difficult period of their life.


We would like to update you on one more story and hope to support Anna and her family with your participation.

Anna and Mitya
In April, + was contacted by a woman with a request to help her family. Anna, 33, is 32 weeks pregnant. Also, she has a son from her first marriage. The woman has past experience of injecting drug use, through which she contracted HIV. After her mother died several years ago, Anna stopped using drugs and began to plan a second child. 

In February 2014, the family’s apartment was damaged by fire, and Anna with her child, her husband, and her husband’s parents are currently sharing a room in a residential hotel. Their damaged apartment needs renovating.

On May 27, 2014, Anna gave birth to her son Mitya. It was a premature birth, and the child is currently in the hospital under medical care and monitoring. The boy needs special feeding formula, treatment and continuous care.

The family is planning to renovate their apartment and move there after Mitya’s discharge from the hospital. Presently, the only breadwinner for this family is Anna’s husband. The family needs support in purchasing baby goods: a crib, a carriage, clothes, hygienic supplies, baby formula and medication.


Children’s Day at the MAMA+ Center
DTC has a tradition of organizing events on the Children’s Day at the MAMA+ Counseling and Daycare Center. On June 4, volunteers of Estee Lauder’s brand •• participated in the holiday for mothers and children. Professional •• makeup designers told the women of the specifics of applying makeup and beauty care, as well as engaged them in a holiday makeup session. The young visitors of the MAMA+ Center were also involved. Using face paint, DTC volunteers transformed the children into fabulous beasts. Together with the volunteers, the kids drew portraits of their beautiful mothers, using real lipsticks and eye-shadow apart from water colors.

The holiday culminated in a short photo session and a tea party. The women were gifted M•A•C festive packages. Due to joint efforts of •• makeup designers and DTC volunteers, that summer day became a real beauty holiday for MAMA+ clients. We are happy to share pictures of this event with you.

Children
Children's Day
Marina and Kolya
Marina and Kolya
Mar 31, 2014

Report on the Foster Family Project

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to update you on the Foster Family Project. The project staff members pay much attention to recruiting and training potential foster parents. Also, a large portion of their work is devoted to assisting newly formed foster families.   

During the period from January through March 2014, Doctors to Children’s Foster Family Project staff provided consultations to 65 potential foster parents. Fifteen prospective foster parents were interviewed by the staff in the project office. In March, the project staff initiated a new cycle of the School for Foster Parents training, which was attended by 10 persons (8 families). Services were provided to a total of 25 foster families taken on the project supervision.

In April 2013, Marina, 37, and Nikolai, 38, a married couple, applied to DTC for a course of training in the School. By that time, they had been married for over 10 years and had no children on their own. They were willing to take a boy or a girl, under 3 years of age, to their family. Marina and Nikolay attended all sessions of the School for Foster Parents, but were not sure they were ready for fostering a child. All summer long, the couple were taking consultations from the project staff on such issues as documentation required for adoption, possible developmental disorders in children living in institutions, interaction with child protection agencies, and realization of their own resources required for raising a foster child.

In the fall, the family went to Irkutsk region to meet with Dima, a two-year-old boy. While Marina and Nikolay were visiting the boy in a babies’ home, they inspired confidence among the institutions staff, and were also offered to meet with a wonderful girl Vika, one and a half years old. After several meetings with the children, the couple decided to become their parents and return home to St. Petersburg all together. As of that moment they had not had enough grounds for adoption: in accordance with the Russian legislation, adoption of children whose parents were deprived of their parental rights is only possible after a lapse of 6 months from the deprivation. This fact did not stop the couple. They took guardianship of both children, waiting for an earliest opportunity to adopt them.

All this time, DTC’s staff members were providing the family with comprehensive support, including consultations on adoption issues, recommendations on children’s adaptation in the new family, and psychological assistance. In February 2014, by the court decision the children were adopted:  now Marina and Nikolai are happy legal parents of Dima and Vika.

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