Until now there has been little empirical research in China as to the extent and impact of long-term foster care as an alternative to institutional (or orphanage) care. All that is about to change...
Last month Care for Children, along with our government partner the China Social Work Association (a subsidiary of China's Ministry of Civil Affairs), gathered in China’s Ningxia province to officially launch a joint research study on family placement in China. It was great to be able to gather together the movers and shakers of family placement care, including members of China’s national government and representatives from state-run institutions with long-running family placement programmes.
The study will focus on the impact of foster care on children and young people’s health and development, the experiences of foster parents and their communities, and the extent to which foster care has become established in China. The report will be written by Care for Children’s social work experts, independent specialist academics and governments officials. It is set to launch at the end of 2016.
With your support, long term foster care in China has been increasing in leaps and bounds since Care for Children began its work in 1998. We can’t thank you enough for helping us to complete this project on Global Giving which has given hope and new beginnings to so many children who have been moved from institutional care into local, loving foster families.
We hope you continue to support us on Global Giving @ http://goto.gg/13517 This project supports our efforts in all the locations Care for Children works in which is now throughout China and, since 2012, a pilot project in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
And once again, from everyone at Care for Children, a heartfelt thank you on behalf of all the children and local social workers our project supports.
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As the Care for Children team trains on family placement across China, they have the incredible privilege of meeting with the families who have taken children into their homes, and the children whose lives have been transformed by being accepted into a family.
One such young man was Xiao. Xiao was placed into a family in China from one of the orphanages Care for Children trained when he was 5. He is now 17 and has been living with the same foster family for 12 years.
When Xiao was first placed into this family, he had a bad temper, was very insecure and very controlling. He was violent to himself and towards his foster parents.
His foster mother was amazingly committed and experienced. She would spend as much one-on-one time with Xiao as possible, giving him lots of attention and love to make him feel special and secure.
Over time Xiao began to make progress. The acceptance and love his new family gave began to turn his life around. He started to trust and feel like he belonged.
Last year, with the encouragement and support of his foster family, Xiao successfully passed the entrance exam to a tecnnichal school to study, his self esteem positively enhanced by the love of a family. This was a huge acheivement.
This is Care for Children's vision, that a million children like Xiao can flourish in life as they know the love of a family.
Thank you for your ongoing support that enables Care for Children to train those working with vulnerable children in China to provide the best thing for these children's futures - a good family.
Recently our Training Team visited one of Care for Children's oldest and most established foster care projects in China. As it was my first visit, I was eagerly anticipating what I would find. We spent one day checking in with some of the project's foster families.
One of the families we visited had fostered two children, a girl and a boy. I really enjoyed talking to the teenage girl, Dan Dan. She was quite shy but gradually opened up to us as we asked her about what she was doing. Her hands were busy stitching and we found out that Dan Dan had a keen eye for cross-stitch and design. She clearly had a skill and her foster mom recognized this and how much joy it brought her.
Her foster mom was really proud of her. She explained she had encouraged Dan Dan's talent by investing in some cross-stitch design kits with various patterns. This had really fuelled her interest. She really enjoyed sitting with her foster mom and talking about her designs, and her foster mom painstakinly unpicked any wrong stitches or mistakes. Her patience and love for her foster daughter was so evident, and she proudly displayed Dan Dan's work around the room for everyone to see. Maybe one day her unique talent and potential will take her further than she could imagine, who knows?
The foster family had become a place where Dan Dan could meaningfully contirbute to her home, put her own special mark on it and be reminded every day that she belongs.
That's what I love about foster families: the attention to detail and the sensitivity to care that can be offered. That's why I love visiting the families we work with and seeing the small things that make a huge difference to a child's life. And that's why your support, no matter how large or small makes a real difference.
Your support creates changes that last a lifetime. Thank you.
"I can't wait to hear him call me Mom for the first time!" said foster mom, Shan Shan, to our team at a recent site visit in China's Shanxi province. Her new son has had some trouble with his speech, but since living with Shan Shan it has been improving quickly. One of the important aspects of placing children into families is to provide them with the opportunity to develop a sense of security, safety and trust. "When children can trust in their secure base, they are free to explore, learn and develop.” says Care for Children's Group Training Manager, Mary Beek. The children being placed into families often have been diagnosed with a learning disability, cerebral palsy or show signs of developmental delay, and we have heard countless stories from our project partners of the vast improvements in a child's development after being placed with a family. This is how your donation makes a difference. From now through December 31st, all new monthly donations are being MATCHED by an anonymous donor on Global Giving. This will be a one-time 100% match! To qualify for the match, supporters must give at least four consecutive months. Isn't that fantastic? Make your year-end gift go even further by signing up for recurring doonations to Care for Children on Global Giving this holiday season. Let's keep working together to change the lives of these children. Thank you for your support!
Faces like this show how important family can be. Xiao Long is 12 years old. He's lived with his foster family for 7 years. When he was first placed with his family, he couldn't walk or talk, and he was thought to have learning difficulties. Now he speaks well, attends the local school and has shown he has no learning difficulties to speak of! As you can see, family life has brought out his passion for art. The Child Welfare Institution where he used to live continues to support his foster family, and even helps to provide a private art teacher to cultivate Xiao Long's talents.
This Christmas, help give other boys like Xiao Long a new family. #giveachildafamily
From all of us at Care for Children, thank you for your support this year! We can't do this work without you.
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