Sep 18, 2017

Project picking up speed!

The team working on the annual work plan
The team working on the annual work plan

There has been a wonderful progression since our last update in June. 

Care for Children has been given a great opportunity to help implement the training needed to develop foster care services throughout Vietnam.  This means that children within institutional care can soon start moving into local, loving foster families.

We are starting this project at just the right time, in line with the new Vietnamese child law that provides legislative support for foster care for the first time.

Since June we have held many meetings with the government to discuss the ‘Co-operation Agreement’, which in the last month has been agreed and officially signed.  This a memorandum of understanding between Care for Children and the Vietnamese government, which outlines the work that will be carried out during the pilot project and enables us to make the next steps towards project plans and the registration as an international NGO in Vietnam.

An official signing ceremony will be planned and gives us a great opportunity to engage with the media, shining more light on the foster care plan for Vietnam.  Senior government officials as well as other senior figures and business leaders will also be at the event.

At this moment, the Care for Children team, together with the Department of Children’s Affairs, are developing an Annual Work Plan and Project Plan.  This is a positive development as it ensures both the central and local government’s engagement from the offset, which is exactly how we want to start.  This is being worked on with the Vietnamese government and shows that they are committed and want to take responsibility for their children. 

This matches our vision... to see children moved out of care institutions and into local, loving foster families.

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

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.

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