May 29, 2019

An expanding teams means expanding services

Chet and Bridget meet Srey Ny
Chet and Bridget meet Srey Ny

The ABLE team would like to take a moment to say a special thanks for your continued support and update you on the progress of our team and families over these last few months.

 

An Expanding Team

To expand on our previous report, our team has welcomed an additional physiotherapist, Chet, and she has been a perfect addition to the team. She is busy already supporting families with medical appointments, in home therapy sessions, and providing additional coaching to our provincial staff around physical therapy interventions.

 

We are also happy to welcome Bridget to the team! She is an educational psychologist who will spend the rest of the  year volunteering with our team to research, prepare and provide training regarding behavior management skills to our staff and families. Her experience in autism is especially valuable to our team as we seek to provide comprehensive supports to children with autism at school, home, and in the community.

 

Expanding Services

As the ABLE team expands in both expertise and staffing we look to increase the frequency and quality of our services. Previously our project manager, SreyNy Sorn, was wearing many hats as project coordinator and lead physiotherapist. As the team expands we are excited to free up time to increase staff training, home visits, and program development. We look to expand services not only to the families supported by ABLE but also to partner organizations.  As staff numbers have increased, we have been able to provide consultation and training to two partner organizations around feeding, nutrition, adaptive education, and community inclusiveness. We look forward to expanding these partnerships so that many more children and families can receive the support they need to grow and thrive.

 

Expanding Confidence and Independence

For one young boy a supportive home environment has made all the difference in his confidence and independence at home and in the community. Before entering the project, he struggled to walk short distances without having breathing difficulties due to his chronic health issues. ABLE is happy to report that with family support, continued training, medical management, and home adaptation he is now running and playing with his sister around the family home. He loves to walk around the community with his family and welcome his sister home from school.

 

ABLE is happy to see that as our team expands, our expertise increases. It effects real life change in the families that we serve. ABLE has become convinced that children belong in families, and with the right support they can grow and thrive as valuable members of their communities.

May 8, 2019

Working together to strengthen families

Hi

Thank you for your continued support of Children in Families.

Children in Families exists to place vulnerable children in loving families. We do this by supporting families with parenting skills, financial support and regular case meetings with our social workers. We also do this by helping orphanages reintegrate children and talking to groups about the harms of volunteering in orphanages.

Recently, CIF was invited to host a learning exchange, where other like-minded organisations could meet together to reflect on what we have learnt as an organisation from our experience of running foster care, kinship care and the ABLE project over the last 10 years. We were grateful to be able to reflect and share with other social workers and managers who share our passion to see children grow up in healthy loving families.

Our Rok Kern team continued this shared learning in April, talking to 2 visiting mission trip teams and 2 Cambodian based volunteer organisations about the issues surrounding orphanage voluntourism in Cambodia and how they as western visitors and volunteers can best support vulnerable children.

And of course, our social work staff  have worked hard these last few months to support the children they work with, accept new kinship care, foster care and emergency care referrals and to place these children in loving homes, accepting of them and their disabilities.

Our Outreach team has also been following up children who they have reintegrated back into families and working with them to set goals for their future. We have been featuring the Outreach team on our blog this month and you can find out more about their work here:

The Who: Meet Dy Neout who leads the team in this interview.

The What: In this article we explore what reintegration involves and what values should drive this process and

The How: This article explores the process that our team uses to reintegrate children to their families.

 Thank you for your continued support of the work of CIF.

Links:

Mar 1, 2019

Inclusive families create Inclusive communities

People with disabilities often face barriers which prevent them from participating in the life of their communities. The ABLE project works to remove the barriers that prevent children with disabilities from entering into family-based alternative care and making these systems more inclusive.  

Community attitudes can often be one of the biggest barriers to inclusion of people with disabilities. Fear or stigma attached to disability can make a community less inclusive and keep people with disabilities isolated. In such an environment it may seem impossible to recruit a family willing to foster a child with disabilities who is not related to them, and even the sustainability of kinship care can be threatened by negative community sentiment.

What we have learned from our experience is that we don't need to look for inclusive communities, we just need to look for inclusive families who can pave the way for making their community more inclusive. Within any community there are people who think differently, who have had different experiences which make them more willing to take on the challenges that come with caring for a child with disabilities. By identifying the kind of families who are willing to take on the role of being a foster family, and then equipping them for that role, we help them to become community advocates. The experience of watching a family care for a child with disabilities breaks down barriers for others in the communities and begins to make the communities more inclusive. It leads to other families expressing a willingness to care for a child with a disability.

Since our last report...

In December, we reported that we were looking to recruit another physiotherapist and that they were in short supply. We can announce that we have hired a physiotherapist, named Chet Aom, who has recently graduated from the country's only physiotherapy training program. She will start mid-March. We have also enrolled two new children into the ABLE Project, both of whom are in Children In Families' Kinship Care project, bringing the total number of children in the project up to 49. 

During January and February the Better Care Network filmed an interview with Srey Ny Sorn, ABLE's project manager, and Lisa Yunker, one of ABLE's technical advisers to share their learning. This video will be completed soon and will be available via the Better Care Network's website to allow other family-based alternative care organizations to benefit from the experiences of the Children In Families' ABLE team. 

Srey Ny is speaking this week at a UNHRC side event on preventing unnecessary separation and institutionalisation of children with disabilities. We are grateful to share the lessons we have learnt about how to create inclusive communities that support children with disabilities and the families that care for them. We look forward to learning from the other organisations represented at this event and together, see children with disabilities thriving in loving families and communities. To find out more, follow our facebook page.

Thank you for your continued support. We cannot do this work without the generosity of partners like you.

 

With Much Thanks,

Lisa Yunker (ABLE Technical Advisor at Children in Families)

Links:

 
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