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Aug 18, 2017

Success in Thailand!

Foster mum with child
Foster mum with child

As you know, Care for Children supports care institutions (orphanages) across Asia to develop local foster care programmes.  This means moving children out of the institution and placing them in local, loving foster families.

Our Thai team is in the process of rolling-out our family placement training to all child welfare homes (orphanages) across the country.  One of those is Pakkred Home for Boys, which is based in a suburb of Bangkok.  It is currently home to over 100 boys, the majority of whom were abandoned due to poverty.

We started training the children’s home in January 2016. The home was extremely interested in developing a foster care programme but was skeptical about finding suitable foster parents.  As so many people move to Bangkok to find work, it can be difficult to identify ‘stay at home foster mums’.

The ideal scenario is to find a group of foster parents within a small close-knit community. This offers the benefits of peer support and also makes visiting the families a lot easier.

The home sent a mix of social workers, child development specialists and care givers to the training. They commented that the training was not only improving their knowledge of foster care but would also improve the standard of care for children within the home.

They have since placed six children in foster care and there is now a sense of hope that they will be able to find many more families.  They are planning on sending more staff to the training this year so that more of them can become family placement workers.

“As I’ve seen some of the boys move into foster families, I've felt really proud and happy that these kids now have a good environment to live in and a new chance at happiness. And it is not just good for children but also the families who now feel a new sense of contentment. It has really inspired me to keep working and to feel proud of what I do.”  Family Placement Worker

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

Jun 26, 2017

Update from the field!

A site visit to an orphanage
A site visit to an orphanage

In our previous report, we mentioned that Care for Children staff from the UK, China and Thai teams were preparing to travel to Hanoi to launch the project. We are now excited to report that this has happened!  Two of the three families have arrived, are settling in well, and are doing all the necessary groundwork to start strong.

Over the last six months, we have been in weekly communication with the Department of Childcare and Protection in preparation to launch the project.  A key strategy of Care for Children’s is to work closely with both central and local government to ensure long-term systemic change and sustainability.  We are pleased to report that the Vietnamese government is looking exclusively at Care for Children to develop family-based care initiatives with over 400 Child Protection Centres (orphanages) in all 63 provinces!  It is an awesome opportunity in front of us, and we recognise the importance of starting well.

The Vietnamese government moved the enactment of their new child law (which provides legislative support for foster care for the first time), one month earlier than scheduled, from July 1st to June 1st to coincide with International Children’s Day.  This is indicative of their willingness and speed at which they want to move, which is very encouraging!

We are also encouraged to observe that Vietnam is very open to attracting professional expertise to boost economic and social reform.  This gives Care for Children a supportive and freeing environment within which to work directly with the Social Protection Centres and tailor our training materials to best suit the Vietnamese culture and context.  All pointers suggest we are starting this work at just the right time.

I hope you are as excited as we are in the wake of this new and exciting project with the Vietnamese government to ensure some of the world’s most vulnerable children can be lovingly cared for in local families! 

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

May 23, 2017

Chengdu success story!

Special education class in Chengdu, China
Special education class in Chengdu, China

As you know, Care for Children supports care institutions (orphanages) across Asia to transition to family-based care, specifically foster care.  This means moving children out of the institution and placing them in local, loving foster families.

Chengdu Welfare Institution, one of Care for Children's long-term partners in China, has seen big changes in the way it operates. 

Based in one of the most important economic, cultural and communication centres of China, Care for Children started working with this care institution in 2001, at which point it knew nothing about foster care.  Thanks to Care for Children’s ongoing training and support, the institution has now developed one of the best models of family-based care for orphaned and abandoned children in China.

The institution is currently supporting over 200 children it has placed with families in the local community.  By taking part in Care for Children’s training, staff at the institution are now convinced that family-based care is much better for children than institutional care.

It’s better for the child to be placed into families as it provides the child with a family and the sense of belonging. It also helps to build the child’s confidence.”  

After the child was moved into the foster family, his school performance has greatly improved.”

With more and more children moved out of the institution and placed into local families, Chengdu Child Welfare Institution has repurposed its facilities accordingly to support children within the local community. They have established a kindergarten within the institution with over 100 children. Not only does it provide much needed early childhood education but it also allows children within the institution to mix with children in the community.

They have also redirected their funds and resources to build community resource centres within those communities where the majority of children have been placed. As well as a base for the family placement workers, from where they can manage their caseload of children, here children can access a variety of services such as special education, rehabilitation, and independent living classes. Parents also have access to training such as positive communication with children and how to care for children with disabilities. As well as improving the success of family placements, it is hoped that over time the community resource centres will result in less children being abandoned in the first place. 

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

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