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.

Mar 29, 2017

Care for Children team preparing to travel to Vietnam

Hanoi's picturesque rooftops
Hanoi's picturesque rooftops

We’re excited to announce that over the next few weeks, members from the UK and Thai teams will be travelling to Hanoi to set-up a project office, prior to the launch of this exciting project.  

The official launch of the project is not until July 1st to coincide with new legislation that is coming into effect.  This new legislation - the result of the Vietnam government attending one of our previous family placement conferences in Thailand - formalizes foster care as a positive alternative to institutional care.  This is a monumental development, as, up until now, there has been no mention of foster care in national legislation.  

Although legislative foundations for family-based care are gradually being built in Vietnam, not enough is being done to practically equip those at the grassroots level to see these systemic changes take hold nationally.  This is where we come in.

From July, our team in Vietnam will start working with two social protection centres (orphanages).  We will introduce them to the concept of family placement, while we develop and test our training materials, prior to rolling out our programme nationwide!

We will let you know once there are any further developments.  Once again, thank you for your support and staying connected with our work.

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