We are happy to share our latest news with you: Doctors to Children has got a new home.DTC moved to a new office located at the following address: 89A Fontanka embankment, Unit 20-N.For years, we have been dreaming of establishing a child care center which would allow provision of services to survivors of child abuse, HIV-positive women and children, as well as clients of the Foster Family project.In 2014, the St. Petersburg City Administration provided DTC with a facility for establishing the children’s center. In March 2015, the long-awaited move happened. This move would be impossible without persistence and patience of DTC staff, support and participation of partners and fellow-thinkers. DTC staff members are extending their gratitude to all who cares for the lives of children.DTC’s doors are always open for those who need support!DTC’s new address is 89A Fontanka embankment, Unit 20-N, St. Petersburg, 190031, Russia.
Club for Foster Families Meeting at Radisson
On February 25, 2015, Radisson Royal Hotel (hotel administration provided an opportunity to hold the meeting in one of its halls) hosted a Club for Foster Families meeting devoted to the Fatherland Defender’s Day. Foster Family Project staff prepared games, contests and quizzes for children and their parents. The children were competing in origami, making paper planes, which they launched in the air. During the holiday, the children and their parents were singing war songs, dancing, and trying uniform. At the end of the meeting the guests had aromatic samovar tea with sweets, and participated in a photo session.
On March 20, another session of the Club for Foster Families took part in DTC’s new office. This time the children came with a prepared concert: they were playing the violin, the chromatic accordion, showing an acrobatic performance. The parents and project staff were viewers of this wonderful concert. Such informal meetings are important both for families who have fostering experience and those who had recently fostered children. They provide the project staff with an opportunity to observe child-parent interactions, which helps in further work with the families. At the end of the event the parents and children were given DTC presents.During the period from January through March, Foster Family staff provided consultations to 65 candidates for foster parents.
A total of 44 children and 30 foster parents were provided with psychosocial and medical assistance by the project staff.
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!
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.
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.
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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