May 8, 2018

How change happens

Care for Children training workshop
Care for Children training workshop

The challenge of changing a system that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of children can feel overwhelming. But the progress China has made in the way they care for their orphaned and abandoned children proves that it is possible.

Every Care for Children project follows four key stages, which ensures sustainability, local ownership and impact, culminating in the government taking full ownership of the project.

Each project has a “Pilot” stage, where Care for Children will partner with one or two care institutions (orphanages), learning about their needs and developing a training curriculum. In China, we began this stage with the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, and quickly replicated it with other orphanages around the country.

The second stage is the “National Roll-Out,” when we are able to scale up rapidly across a project area. Once we have secured buy-in from the top levels of government, our team of social work experts re-train staff from government-run orphanages as family placement workers. We empower the staff to recruit, assess and train suitable foster families, as well as place, support and monitor children as they move from the orphanage into families for the long-term.

Our long-term goal is that Care for Children is no longer needed in our project areas. We spend the third stage of our projects “Preparing for Independence,” so that we can responsibly reach stage four, our “Exit” from the project areas.

China is too large for our team to train all orphanages, so, for stage three of this project, Care for Children is working to build the capacity of five strategically located orphanages across the country. The aim is to develop these sites into best practice examples of family placement and community-based care, as well as training hubs for their own regions. By the end of this stage, local experts at all five institutions will have the capacity to train, support and inspire other orphanages, gradually reducing reliance on Care for Children.

This model is sustainable because of the buy-in of local governments, institutions and individuals. In China, Care for Children has seen dedicated people step up across the country to make sure that the change we are seeing is going to affect Chinese children for decades to come.

Your support makes all of this possible. Thank you!

Apr 3, 2018

Welcome to the floating city

Floating community
Floating community

It started with a field trip.

Mr. Thong Nam - a social worker at the Mahamek Home for Boys - wanted children from the home to learn about the craft traditions in their community, so he took the boys on a day trip to a floating city called Baan Nam Phuek.

Baan Nam Phuek is one of Bangkok’s famous floating markets, where entire communities live and work on the water. This city sub-district is located right outside Bangkok, between the city skyline on one horizon and a large jungle on the other.

The leader of Baan Nam Phuek noticed the large group of boys during their field trip. He could tell that they were different than the boys living in his community, and he asked what their story was. Thong Nam told the community leader about the orphanage the boys lived in, and the leader asked how he could help them.

Thong Nam began to speak about starting a foster care programme, and the leader immediately volunteered his community. In January, the partnership was finalized, and the Care for Children Southeast Asia manager, Thomas Abbott, had the great privilege of participating in this launch.

One of the most exciting things about this partnership is how indirectly Care for Children staff were involved. Our staff was invited to participate ceremonially, but these boys are going to foster homes because of an independent interaction between local Thai leaders.

We are thrilled to witness locals having the confidence and initiative to launch foster care programmes in their community as a result of our training, without any direct influence from us.

Your support has equipped the Thai people to begin programmes and partnerships of their own. You have created independence and sustainability for the entire community, and this year twelve boys will find a new life in the floating city, complete with foster parents who care for them.

Thank you for all your support.

Mar 13, 2018

Ending the year on a high!

Care for Children's founder at the launch ceremony
Care for Children's founder at the launch ceremony

We’re pleased to report that we ended the year on a very positive note. In December, in preparation for starting training at the two Social Protection Centres (orphanages), which we’re partnering with, the team conducted a training assessment at both project sites as well as the communes in Thai Nguyen and Hanoi. The aim of this assessment was to ascertain their current level of knowledge of foster care so that the team can tailor the training programme accordingly.

We hope that by our next update we will have started training staff from the two pilot sites. In April 2018, the team hopes to begin the training programme with the two Social Protection Centres, communes and government staff, which will initially focus on the “What is Foster Care?” training workshop. There will be 3-5 workshops delivered during the month. This is extremely exciting and will be worth the months of hardwork that the team has put in to establish the project.

One of the key challenges that the team has experienced has been to understand the government’s calendar and trying to work within their schedule. Although this can be frustrating, the government has also been flexible when it has come to major decisions with the project. This is pioneering work in which Care for Children and the Vietnamese government are treading new ground. So, we have to be willing to take it step by step, working side by side with the government at a similar pace, remaining flexible and focused to continue the project and to make sure it has an impact.

Once again, thank you for your support and staying connected to our work.

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