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...
Dec 30, 2014

Latest News of the Foster Family Project

During the period from October through December 2014, DTC Foster Family Project staff provided consultations to 72 potential foster parents; 46 foster families benefited from project comprehensive psychosocial services; four children who lost parental support were placed in families trained at the School for Foster Parents.

On November 20, the project staff organized a meeting of the Club of Foster Families devoted to the International Mother’s Day. As part of the meeting, volunteers of the Amway Company engaged children and parents in a wonderful quiz session: the participants were invited to recall poems, songs, films about mothers, and fulfill creative assignments. Besides, the volunteers conducted workshops for children on creating wristlets, hairpins and postcards for their mothers. All the meeting participants received wonderful gifts from the Amway Company and Doctors to Children.

The next meting of the Club of Foster Families took place on December 21 at the Radisson Royal Hotel. That time the club meeting was turned to the New Year celebration. With the support of the hotel, DTC organized a holiday for 35 children and 28 parents who were under the project supervision. This is the second time that the hotel provided the venue for the New Year holiday. Each child was given an individual present from Father Frost. The holiday culminated in tea, sweet buffet and a large cake topped with a firework.

 Anna, 26, and her foster daughter Olya, 6, participated in the above two meetings of the Club. In spring 2014, Anna completed a course of DTC’s School for Foster Parents. In June 2014, she took Olga to her family. In October 2014, the woman contacted the project staff with a request for assistance. Olya is suffering from infantile cerebral paralysis. Her condition is exacerbated by psychological issues, including fears, aggressive behavior, and hyperactivity. Anna is raising the girl on her own and is in need of support from at least one more adult (maybe a volunteer), who could substitute her (for several hours a week) and become a friend of their family. The project staff arranged a medical case conference with participation of a pediatrician and a neurologist who provided Anna with relevant recommendations. After a number of medical examinations prescribed to the girl, the project staff will initiate another case conference to monitor Olga’s health status. The family was also provided with psychological support, social worker’s consultations, as well as material assistance.

To date, due to the project support, the child is no more facing difficulties in setting contact with other children. Olya is no more bothered by fears and nightmares. The project staff members were able to find a volunteer to stay with Olya once or twice a week, thus saving more spare time for the foster mother. Olya began to attend sessions at the children’s dancing school “Get Over”. This school is attended by different children, including children with special needs. The family continued to receive the project assistance.

 We are grateful to everyone supporting the Foster Family Project in St. Petersburg and helping us make children happy!

Dec 22, 2014

Latest news about MAMA+ project

Kristina and Matvey
Kristina and Matvey

Kristina and Matvey

MAMA+ staff first met with Kristina, 33, in the middle of March 2014 at a hospital prenatal unit. According to information provided by the unit staff, that moment the woman was in abstinence after drug abuse, though she denied that. MAMA+ staff members provided her with the details of the project opportunities, psychological support and contact information. Kristina promised to think it over and call back. On the following day, she gave birth to her son Matvey. The boy was transferred to a children’s hospital immediately for treatment and care provided to children born prematurely.

Two weeks later, Kristina called to MAMA+ and asked for the project support. It was found that she had been using injection drugs for over 16 years. In 2009, she served a term of confinement in prison. That was the period when she refrained from drugs and wanted to change something in her life. This is when she learned she was HIV-positive. However her main problem that several times brought her to risk behaviors was inability to arrive at understanding with her mother. Frequent conflicts were putting the family at risk of segregation.

 Kristina could not stay with her relatives in a communal apartment, as her room was occupied by her brother with his girlfriend while she was in prison, and another room was shared by her mother and her step-father who abused alcohol and often worked off anger on her. A teenager, Kristna began to live on her own staying at her friends’ and spending much time on the street where she got addicted to drugs and experienced a sexual offence.

When Matvey was born, Krisitna’s mother kept her away from home. The woman stressed that her drug-abusing daughter had no right to give birth to children at all. Doctors of the children’s hospital where the baby was placed in also supposed that Krisina would not be able to cope up with her addiction and would not take her baby home. MAMA+ staff began their work with the client with assessing her resources, providing her with psychological support and motivating her for substance abuse treatment. It was found that Kristina’s main resource was her domestic partner, Matvey’s father. He had no experience of using drugs and had no HIV-status.

Escorted by the project staff, Kristina visited her son at the hospital. MAMA+ provided the woman with material assistance, including hygienic goods and baby formula. The project staff also assisted Kristina in receiving a substance abuse treatment course which helped her retain stable remission from drugs. Due to MAMA+ support Kristina improved her life situation, and in a short while she was permitted by the hospital to take Matvey home.

MAMA+ staff also interacted with the client’s mother to improve the family situation and ensure the family support. Their efforts resulted in attaining legal grounds for Kristina to stay with her relatives at their housing and have her baby registered. A court trial was initiated to divide the ownership rights and arrears or rent between the family members. Nevertheless, the multi-year conflict in this family continued.

Presently, Kristina, her partner and her baby are living in a rented apartment. The woman’s partner has an unstable income source. The main source of financial support is his parents. Kristina was prescribed continuous ARV therapy. Once the woman interrupted the treatment without doctors’ permission. This had negative impact on her health status. MAMA+ staff were able to explain her the importance of continuous therapy intake.

Matvey has developmental delays resulted by neurological disorders. His mother brings him for medical consultations and physical therapy sessions. MAMA+ and other staff involved believe that his health status will improve by one year of age. Now he is eight and a half years old, and he rejoices at everything that surrounds him.

Kristina
Kristina
Sep 29, 2014

Foster Family project activities

Dear Friends,

We are happy to update you on the Foster Family project activities!

A regular meeting of the Club for Foster Families took place on August 26, 2014. It was devoted to the beginning of the school year. The meeting was organized at its usual venue – one of the timeclubs in the very center of St. Petersburg.

The participants were glad to see each other after the summer holidays: the children and their parents were pleased to share new impressions and experience they gained over the summer months; the adults told about developmental improvements demonstrated by their children.

This time new participants joined the Club. We would like to say a couple of words about them.

 Denis is 11. He came to the meeting together with his foster mother and his 16-year-old foster sister Elena. Denis has been recently placed in this family from a regional orphanage, though they seem to have always been together. Relationships between Denis and his new sister are in no way different from those between other siblings of their age. Being an older child in the family, Elena participates in upbringing the boy. Shealsohas experience of living in anorphanage. Therefore she assists Denis in adapting to new conditions, as four years ago she also went to a new school and found new friends. The children’s foster mother completed a DTC’s School for Foster Parents training cycle five years ago, and now continues to receive support of the Foster Family project staff.

Denis
Denis

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