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.
Dear friends, we would like to tell you a story of a family taken on the project supervision.
Nina and Tanya, sisters
At the end of 2012, Nina and Tanya were removed from their family, facing threats to their lives and health. Their mother abused alcohol. She used to come home drunk very often, accompanied by her partner. Every time it was a new partner, and every time she forced the kids to call him their dad. They had never seen their father. The sisters often stayed at home, unsupervised and underfed.
While the girls were in the orphanage, they were placed twice in host families for a short term, and the project staff hoped the girls would stay with their new parents. However, these placements were not successful to bring about long-term relationships.
In early August 2013, an experienced foster family supervised by the project learned about the sisters. By that time, Elena and Igor, a married couple, had raised two children on their own, graduated form the School for Foster Parents run by Doctors to Children, and were bringing up two foster children – brothers, 7 and 15 years old respectively.
At the end of the month, Nina and Tanya were placed in this family. On September 1, Nina went to the new school. She enrolled in her new brother’s class to repeat the first-grade program, as she did not attend school regularly in the previous year and missed a lot. At first, her younger sister Tanya found it hard to go to a kindergarten, refusing to stay without her foster parents for several hours a day. Presently, she is happy to attend the kindergarten where she has found a lot of friends. Nina and Tanya enjoy doing everything together with their new mother and father: playing, cooking and reading before going to bed. Also, it is so wonderful to dance all together!
The sisters’ adaptation in their new home is going on well, with the family provided with the regular Foster Family Project assistance. The first priority issue for the foster parents is Nina’s and Tanya’s health status: the girls need serious medical examinations and treatment.
New Year party for Foster Family Project clients
On December 22, clients of the Foster Family Project participated in a real New Year celebration party. This time the event was hosted by Radisson Hotel. Within the walls of the ancient building located in the heart of St. Petersburg, the organization Plyaskin Group showed a beautiful dance performance for children. Experienced and recently formed foster families were invited for this holiday.
All the children were given long-awaited presents from Father Frost.
The cultural program culminated in the traditional tea, cakes and sweets for children and their parents.
Such events are very important for families raising foster children. This New Year celebration was not only a holiday, but also an opportunity for the families to share their successes, their children’s achievements, and have their work recognized by their peers.
We are grateful to everybody who helped us organize such a wonderful party for children.
School for Foster Parents
On December 24, the final session of the winter School for Foster Parents training cycle was conducted by the project staff. A total of 12 persons (10 families) were provided with certificates of completing SFP training and made a decision to take a child to their family.
In October 2013, a large foster family supervised by Doctors to Children fostered one more girl. Previously, the girl was placed in a babies’ home and needed regular medical monitoring. Kristina, two and a half years old, was happy to find new parents, new brothers and sisters, as well as her full five-year-old sister previously fostered by this family.
In November 2013, graduates of the spring School for Foster Parents became happy parents of a two-year-old girl from a babies’ home of the City of Vologda.
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