Sep 14, 2017

THE PAST AS A MAJOR OBSTACLE

Victoria
Victoria

Sometimes parents become hostages of their past and cannot get the relationships with their children back on track because of shame or fear of social embarrassment. Here is one of the stories of 'Homelike Project. Smolensk region'

Victoria is 40 years old, she lives in a village. While her husband works, Victoria keeps the house and the garden. This fall their daughter starts school. Such a decent, friendly family of three. Meanwhile, in the next village orphanage there is a boy named Vasya. Victoria is Vasya's mom.

When our Smolensk team took Vasya's case, the boy's personal data file proved that his mother is deprived of parental rights due to an antisocial lifestyle and alcoholism.

It turned out that the woman actually behaved immorally in her youth, and due to this, the custody authorities seized her son from her.  Eight years have passed since then; Victoria has completely changed, but could not get back together with her son since then.

She was scared to death to go to the custody, as she understood that no one had forgotten anything in their small village. Moreover, every time she met someone from them accidentally, the custody officers reminded of her past, adding to her guilt feeling.

However, Victoria never forgot about her son. Before we took Vasya’s case, the woman kept track of his life on her own.  For several years that the boy lived in a foster family, Victoria timidly asked friends in common of how he was doing. But recently the boy was returned to the orphanage, got into our program and soon afterwards we found his mother.

Victoria gladly shared memories of her son with us, and together we made a detailed family genogram- a technique that helps a child to better know his family, and also helps a specialist to better see family "scenarios" and find positive stories from the child relatives’ life.

Our specialists have conducted psychological therapy with Victoria, thanks to which the woman has overcome her shame about the past, and, on the contrary, realized that she has every right to be proud of having independently overcome the crisis and changed for the better. She gave up alcohol, created a strong family with a worthy person, carefully runs the house, and educates her daughter, who, according to our psychologists, is harmoniously developed.

Our social teacher Alina Kiprich accompanied Victoria to the custody authorities to find out what documents were needed to resume the relationship with her son. After the visit, Victoria and her husband became determined to get back together with Vasya.

Unfortunately, the psychologist in  the orphanage was also aware of Viktoria’s wild youth, and firstly refused to organize a meeting with Vasya. At that point, our foundation organized a meeting with the orphanage director to assure her in Victoria’s reliability and the seriousness of her commitment.

The meeting went well, Victoria made a right impression, and a longed-for permission was received! The most important thing for now is to prepare Vasya.  From his personal data file we know that the boy was seized even without an opportunity to say goodbye to his mother.

Ulyana Sorokina, the psychologist of the project is actively working with Vasya now. The meeting is coming soon!

Jun 19, 2017

How we find parents

'Homelike Project. Smolensk region' helps children in orphanages remember their roots and get in touch with their family. This is a story about how our specialists found “lost” parents.

Practically since birth, 12-year-old Kirill was raised by his great grandmother. His mother suffers from alcoholism. His father had never even seen him; he ended up in jail before the boy was born and, according to the boy’s guardian, he never got in contact.

The boy and his great grandmother lived in his aunt’s apartment, who, according to his personal file, was not fond of the boy. Their host’s poor attitude towards him became the reason why his great grandmother gave little Kirill to the Safonovo orphanage.

Whenever a child leaves their family or foster care for the orphanage, our specialists are sure to always meet with them. After examining and talking with Kirill, it became clear that his family is very important to him. The Homelike project team got to work on the case and started to look for his family.

The address of Kirill’s grandmother on his father’s side was given in his personal file. This is where Alina Kiprich, the project’s conselor, headed.

The boy’s uncle was living in the apartment. For a long while, the man couldn’t understand who she was talking about – he had never seen Kirill – but when he figured it out, he helped find Dmitry, the boy’s father.

His father was overjoyed to hear news of his son. Dmitry told us that he had tried to see his boy, but due to the strained relationship with Kirill’s mother, nothing ever worked out. When Alina told him that the boy was fine and they could meet (for the first time in his life!), his father was truly happy.

Work is now underway to prepare the boy to meet his father.

In these cases, children oftentimes may harbor resentment towards their parents, not wish to talk to them, or simply not understand. Using special techniques, the project’s psychologists are helping the boy sort out his emotions, understand the situation, and prepare for the meet up.

Of course, there hasn’t been any talk of Dmitry taking Kirill from the orphanage, but we hope that the family reunion and long-awaited meeting will soon take place!

Mar 14, 2017

Good news from Shatalovo orphanage!

A brother and a sister have returned to their family after six months in the orphanage. This happened thanks to the sincere desire of their parents to turn things around, the careful work of the orphanage psychologist, and the Deti Nashi Foundation.

Six months ago, the children were removed from their family by court order and were placed in Shatalovo orphanage. The poor financial standing of the family, the employment difficulties of the mother, unsatisfactory living conditions, and arrears in rent served as the pretext for that situation.

Statistically, the majority of parents dramatically reduce the frequency of communication with children who stay in a residential care facility for more than two months. As a rule, time works against the reunification of the family.

However, in the described case, the mother regularly visited her son and daughter, and their stepfather also kept in touch. The orphanage psychologist conducted a series of tests with the children, which showed that:

- the children really missed their mother;

- the children are attached to their stepfather and he plays an important role in their lives;

- the children's stay in the orphanage was causing them far greater harm than the conditions in which they lived at home.

Of course, the experts of the Deti Nashi Foundation took on this case!

After three months of working together with parents, the situation of the family is as follows: the issues with employment have been resolved, cosmetic repairs have been made to the apartment, and the family is being provided with psychological support.

The children are home; the family is reunited; and we do hope that everything will be all right!

 
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