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Jan 3, 2017

Big fundraising push

As we enter the new year and the launch date for our new Vietnam project gradually approaches, preparations are starting to gear up. 

As well as continuing the big fundraising push, we are continuing to build relationships with key government officials and the two care institutions (orphanages) that we will be working with initially, prior to rolling out our programme nationwide. 

We are extremely excited about starting this work, which will enable care institutions across the country to start placing orphaned and abandoned children into local families, although we still have a way to go in reaching our fundraising target.

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

Dec 7, 2016

An unusual time for the Thai training team

Learning the importance of teamwork
Learning the importance of teamwork

This update focuses on our work in Thailand.  The last few months have been slightly unsettling for the Thailand team. The death of the King of Thailand has deeply affected the whole country with a year of mourning put in place.  It has also affected the team’s training schedule both for this year and next year.  The government has advised the general public not to set any calendar plans for 2017 in stone, as there will be revisions made to public holidays.

The team has also had to cancel a workshop in the south of Thailand due to heightened violence in the region.  As one of the training team explains:  

“I am realising more and more how flexible we need to be, and I appreciate how the people of Thailand are so good at it.  At the beginning of this week we talked about our trip to the south to train the last three child welfare homes, to complete phase one of our training. The day after we booked tickets, we received a call from one of the homes that the situation in the south is not safe, so it would be best for us not to come. There has been ongoing unrest in the southern-most regions of the country, and this week there have been bombs and people killed. Even those living there, as residents, feel afraid to go out. Several roads that the participating homes would travel on to attend the training have been closed, and we do not want to put them at risk.”

Even with all these unsettling events, the Thai team is keen to continue the roll-out of the national foster care project, with the goal of reaching all 20 government run child welfare homes across the country, ensuring they can start moving children out of the institution and into local families.  

In other news, the team recently spent time with with an NGO that operates a small children’s home in a town along the Burmese border.  With the aim of reunifying all the children with their families or alternatively identifying foster families for them, the team introduced family placement to the staff from the NGO.  The staff will also spend some time with a family placement worker from one of our sites who has had over 20 years of experience as a foster parent and family placement worker.

Using alternative training methods
Using alternative training methods
Training takes place in a relaxed environment
Training takes place in a relaxed environment
Sep 9, 2016

"The children brought new warmth into our family."

A Thai foster family
A Thai foster family

We have just completed a three year evaluation of our projects in China and Thailand and want to share a few highlights and reflections with you…

The creation of a new set of core training materials that are tailor made for Thailand, and adhere to international standards, is one of Care for Children’s most accomplished achievements over the last three years!  We were able to draw from our wealth of experience working cross-culturally between the UK and China and to adapt this experience to the Thai context.  No other organisation in the past in Thailand has achieved this outcome in the field of foster care, so it really is a pioneering achievement.

In China, we have we have trained 1,629 staff from 406 care institutions.  This has equipped them to recruit, assess and train foster carers in the local community, as well as place, support and monitor children as they move into families.

“I saw a real change in the staff after they attended the training on foster care with Care for Children.  They were much more aware of the importance of placing children in families and they had a deeper understanding of how important it is for children to grow up as part of a family rather than living in an institution.” Care Institution Director, Thailand

“When I started my job, the process of foster care was not clear. We now use the knowledge we have learnt from Care for Children to adapt our jobs, for example, screening families, establishing emergency foster families, collecting more detailed information, as well as observing children’s behaviour.  We now have a clear standard.” Care Staff, Thailand

“I had no idea about fostering before the workshop, and I even thought that fostering is not suitable for middle and small cities.  However, the training completely changed my thoughts. In my future work I will do my best to promote fostering.” Care Staff, China

“I didn’t realise that the child needs to know his identity before the workshop.  Now I understand why we should tell him who he is, why he is here, and where he belongs, in ways that are acceptable and appropriate for him.” Care Staff, China

“We wanted foster children because we love children, and now we are retired we are available.  The children have bought new warmth into our family. We love them very much because we are with them all the time.  We have experienced a lot of positive things by fostering.  For us personally, we are not lonely anymore.  We see that the children need someone to rely on and we can help them.” Foster parent, Thailand

“Bringing him into our family has made us like a mother and son.  It’s not hard.  I love him like my own child.  I want him to grow up to be a good person.  I want him to have a good job, a good future.  My husband loves him very much.  Everybody accepts him.” Foster parent, Thailand

We are now at an exciting juncture in our goal of transforming child welfare systems across Asia, with our projects in China and Thailand entering new phases.  In Thailand, the next stage will see us roll-out our pioneering work nationwide with a strategic programme to introduce foster care to all state-run care institutions.  In China, the challenge now is to ensure sustainability. Therefore, some of the care institutions we’ve been working with will become local or regional training hubs.  Once fully trained, they will be able to provide training in best practice family placement to other care institutions across the country as we gradually reduce our involvement.

Any small donation you can give towards this work will be hugely beneficial and will make a big impact to the lives of the children.

Thank you again for staying connected with our work. 

A Chinese foster family
A Chinese foster family
 
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