A group of foster carers
One of Care for Children's fundraisers has just got back from an inspiring visit to the project in Thailand. This is his account of the work he saw:
Foster Carers Visit
"Two weeks ago today I was in Northwest Thailand, on a visit to two remarkable groups of foster carers who live in the beautiful countryside north of Chiang Mai. At the first village we came to we stopped at a foster carer’s house to visit a group comprising of five families who were each fostering at least one child from Chiang Mai Home for Boys. In another village we met a similar sized group of carers who had taken in children from Chiang Mai Home for Girls. The two houses were homely and clean, centring around large communal areas which illustrated well the occupants’ lifestyle priorities."
"Each day the groups of carers meet at the two houses, supporting each other, sharing difficulties and achievements, and allowing the younger children to socialise whilst others attend school together. In this environment the children being fostered appear to be flourishing; developing essential social skills and confidence as part of a group to complement the strong attachment to their foster parents. This community (in the truest sense of the word) is what has so impressed the Care for Children team. Despite the vast disparity of resources, we would suggest that this model of interdependence and support could be an example to western family placement programmes."
"The day after we visited the families I was able to attend the Thailand National Foster Care Conference, hosted by Care for Children in Chiang Mai. Delegations from all 20 government-run care institutions in Thailand attended, and in the morning session those who had recently begun running family placement programmes shared their initial experiences and challenges. It was great to see those institutions with more mature programmes being there to guide and encourage their colleagues. What really struck me throughout the day was the enthusiasm and unity amongst our frontline colleagues. They seemed truly passionate about this national movement, which is already changing their country for the better."
"During the afternoon another meeting took place at which Care for Children’s founder, Dr Robert Glover, addressed key officials responsible for implementing Thailand’s family placement programme. Robert shared encouraging stories from his time working in China, before driving home the message that the future welfare of Thailand’s orphaned and abandoned children rests firmly in the hands of those present. Clearly inspired by this message, our hope is that these delegates will continue to approach the task of shifting Thailand’s care provision from an institutional to a family-based model with the same drive and determination they have so far shown."
As our projects in China and Thailand enter new phases, we will make sure that we continue to keep you updated on this important work.
Thank you so much for your support and for staying connected to our work - it really is appreciated!
A group of foster children
A regular meet up of foster cares and children
A baby with her foster mother
Team from Southern Thailand at the conference