Nov 20, 2019

Building and Growing

In our last report we shared that the ABLE Project had received five new cases within a two-month period. That trend has continued, as we have received an additional seven cases in the last three months. This highlights the tremendous need for services to support families in caring for children with disabilities and chronic health needs here in Cambodia. The lack of services available to families means that many families have a difficult choice to make – relinquish their child to institutional care, or try to care for their child the best they can without access to any interventions to improve their child’s situation. Families who are caring for a child with disabilities or a chronic health condition face tremendous pressure with regard to resources of time and money and, in many cases, experience a decline in their child’s and family’s situation. But, the good news is that, with the right supports, these children and families can thrive. This is why it is so vital that these supports be provided. Without them, children with disabilities do not have the same opportunity to have their right to appropriate care within a loving family protected.

The ABLE Project team is not only working on building our own capacity to meet these needs, we have been offering up assistance to other organizations so their staff are equipped with skills to make their services more inclusive of children with disabilities and responsive to their needs as well. Through trainings and consultation we are building stronger collaborative relationships with partners to work with them in making quality care available to more children with disabilities. As we look to the future we recognize that we need to continue to keep building on both of these fronts: building our own capacity through hiring and training additional staff, and continuing to develop a more structured approach to helping other organizations build their capacity. Many organizations working together in close collaboration will have a widespread impact in making family based care inclusive throughout Cambodia. The ABLE Project is committed to having a strong role in this effort.

Recently, Family Care First produced a video to highlight the work of the ABLE Project and the difference that inclusive family based care can mean for a child. Srey Oun* had been abandoned at a local hospital and her family could not be located. She was born with significant congenital anomalies which made it difficult for her to eat. She was also blind and in need of surgery. Children In Families received her into emergency foster care and the ABLE staff began working with her and her emergency caregiver, while also working with CIF’s social work staff to find a long term foster family for her. Please click on the link below to watch the video and see the beautiful difference inclusive support for family based care has made in the life of this little girl.

* Child's name has been changed

Links:

Nov 1, 2019

A Semi-Annually Update

Hello,

 

We appreciate your ongoing support to Children in Families.

With genuine compassion, two of our staff worked hard to support children to find a family that they belong with. Their commitment has meant that the organization they founded, Children in Families, has become a trusted place for children who need help.

For the last six months, 81 children have been referred to Children in Families, 50 of which are successfully enrolled into our new program for Kinship Care project, FOR-1 (Family of Origin is the 1st Priority). Out of the 50 children who entered our care, seven are children with special needs. 

Since May, Children in Families has submitted 17 Domestic Adoption cases to the court, and seven of them have been approved, while the rest are in progress. Providing permanent care for children from our Foster Care project is one of CIF’s greatest achievements!

In July, we conducted a child safeguarding policy training, attended by staff members from all provincial offices - Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Siem Reap and Battambong. The training improved staff awareness of child abuse and to will help prevent any acts of child abuse from occuring, as well as improving reporting and appropriate responses through our Child Response Team. 

In the month of August, Children in Families arranged two meetings, one of which provided training to case workers and community rehabilitation workers on case management, basic counselling, and autism identification. All CIF staff members participated in an annual reflection event on the same month, updating on main achievements, areas for improvement, best practices and the orientation on Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (Mexico City Policy). 

 

Success Story

In 2017, a child was referred to Children in Families due to the deteriorating health of her mother, who was diagnosed with HIV, and her aging grandmother’s inability to care for her. After assessing the case, CIF identified that the child was at risk of being separated from her family. This frequently leads to dropping out of school, and creates increased risk of labor exploitation. Children in Families then entered the child into our Family Preservation project. With regular ongoing care through food provision, education support, training and follow-up visits, the family’s well-being has improved gradually. The child now attends school regularly, while her mother has worked with our case managers to develop skills in home gardening. This produces crops for both daily food, and for selling in her local community to support her family. 

Thanks once again for making a better difference through Children In Families. 

Aug 23, 2019

August Global Giving Update

ABLE has been busy with an increase in partner referrals, cases accepted and frequency of family visits. We are happy to see that more children with disabilities are remaining in their families and that those already in care are receiving an increase in therapeutic in home services.

 

5 New Cases in 2 Months

Providing holistic services for children with disabilities in family based care can be a slow process, however ABLE has found that slow and steady wins the race when working with families and children in crisis. Families often require weekly support in the beginning phases and ABLE is happy to see that this investment often results in stable families who have increased confidence to care for their children who may have complex needs.

 

Through ongoing advocacy with the wider disability community in Cambodia, ABLE has seen an increase in referrals from partner organizations over the past 3 months. These referrals result in an assessment with ABLE team and kinship care staff, where a plan is made with the family to provide support to ensure that families stay together whenever possible or find other solutions that result in children staying with extended families or other safe families in the community. This month, ABLE has accepted 5 new cases resulting in 4 out of the 5 referral cases remaining in their families. We are overjoyed to see children with disabilities realize their right to grow up in loving safe families.

 

Increase in Family Visits

A core service of ABLE is family visits: opportunities to meet with families in their homes and support them in a variety of ways such as psychical or occupational therapy services, special education, medication management, and family training. Many of the families who need these services live rurally in Cambodia, requiring ABLE staff to travel nearly a day in some cases to visit one family. The value of providing services in the natural environment has led to safer, more stable, and more confident caregivers. It’s also expensive and time intensive. We are excited to say that with increased funding and staffing we will now be able to see every family at least once a month. For many cases we see them weekly, especially families new to services or families experiences are particularly stressful time, but we are happy to say moving forward we will be able to meet our goal of increased frequency of services for all of our families. Thank you to all donors and supporters for being a huge part of making this happen!

 

Accessing Training and Improving Services

Through the support of our Global Giving partners we are happy to announce that we have hired new key staff members which was outlined in pervious updates. However, with ongoing support our staff have been able to access ongoing training in key areas of disability. These past few months our staff have trained in Autism and sensory integration and one staff has returned back to school to pursue a bachelors in physical therapy. These trainings have increased the quality of our care especially in the area of supporting children and their families with Autism.

 

The past few months have been busy and in reflection a fruitful time in seeing 5 children supported to remain in their families, an increased frequency of services provided to nearly every family, and an increase in quality of services for children with autism in family based care.

 
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