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Dec 12, 2018

Saduak, sanook and sabii...

Training team & participants from recent workshop
Training team & participants from recent workshop

Our year started with a National Foster Care Meeting, bringing together 75 delegates from the child welfare homes (orphanages) across Thailand and senior government officials. We were privileged to hear stories from the heroes of our work – the foster families and children they care for. Tales of transitions and tears, adjustments and achievements, and life-long bonds being formed, inspired those working with the vulnerable children of Thailand to keep moving towards a goal of transitioning from institutional care to family-based care.

We were encouraged to be asked by the Thai government to expand our training of foster care to include nine additional child welfare homes. These homes are more specialized as they look after children who have been abused, trafficked, abandoned, neglected and those children who have behavioural issues and mental health problems. Initially it was thought that it would be too difficult to place these children in families, but over time there has been a greater understanding that all children deserve a chance to grow up in a safe, loving family environment and this group of children could greatly benefit from the consistent care that a foster family can give.

There is much to learn when moving children from within the confines of the orphanage walls and out into the community.

The participants who took part in training this year appreciated the opportunity to make site visits and hear the rich testimonies of foster parents who know first-hand how to make a child feel like a valuable member of a family. Throughout the training there was opportunity for participants to envisage the children in their care moving in with local families and learning ways they could support and assist to ensure a stable placement.

Another focus throughout the year was to help equip foster care workers with the skills and confidence to be able to train the foster parents in their programmes. Bringing foster families together is such a simple way of encouraging, inspiring and equipping them with the skills they need to parent the children in their care. Thai people live by the principle that life should be “saduak, sanook and sabii” or comfortable, convenient and fun, and training sessions are designed to include all three. I don’t think I have ever been to a training session with foster parents where it hasn’t included side-splitting laughter, dancing and parading, and a sense that they are one huge supportive family.

Once again, thank you for your support and staying connected to our work. We hope you will consider supporting this project again in 2019.

Nov 21, 2018

"I have learnt so much by being a foster parent."

A foster parent about to speak at the conference
A foster parent about to speak at the conference

The following is another remarkable account of one of the foster parents who came to speak at our recent family placement conference in Shanghai, China.

Over the years she has fostered many children, including those with disabilities, who spent part of their childhood in an orphanage. One of whom went on to be adopted by an overseas family. She is extremely proud that he is now studying automotive mechanics in Germany.

“We have seen so much change in our children, and they have exceeded our expectations. We have received amazing support from the family placement workers helping us to care for our children in the best way.

“I have learnt so much by being a foster parent. It has inspired me to do more and I feel a great sense of achievement and joy. They receive warmth and love from their new family. I miss them very much.

“Now we have more children who are unable to go to school because of their disabilities. So we’ve developed a new education course for children who can’t attend school. We’ve witnessed amazing changes - children who couldn’t show any emotion can now express their love for you. We have opened a colourful new world of possibilities - we believe the children’s future is now full of hope because of this training program.

“I have so much love and responsibility for the children in my heart.”

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

Nov 20, 2018

"I've learnt what children need for their mental health."

The workshop in full swing
The workshop in full swing

In October the team held its first official training workshop in partnership with the Vietnamese government.

Care for Children is in the early stages of introducing foster care to the child welfare system in Vietnam. This is the first official workshop in a series of workshops that will build the capacity of government stakeholders and Social Protection Centres (orphanages) across Vietnam in local family placement/foster care.

The ‘Introduction to Foster Care’ workshop was held over 1 ½ days, with directors from both project sites and high level management from the local government in attendance. In total 40 people attended.

Our government partner delivered the first part of the workshop, explaining the new childcare law and the law on foster care. Care for Children’s training manager then led the ‘Introduction to Foster Care’ training. With the aim of raising awareness about foster care and its benefits, the training was delivered in an interactive and participatory way, engaging the participants through case studies, small group discussions and brainstorms.

In order to determine the effectiveness of the training and the degree of knowledge change, questionnaires were distributed to participants before and after the workshop. The participants’ average scores for their knowledge of foster care increased from 3.0 to 4.2 (1 = low; 5 = high). This proved the training was successful and well received by the audience. The following are some testimonies from the participants.

“The training is very interactive, informative and useful.”

“The trainer was very knowledgeable. I was very touched and impressed with the case stories shared by the trainer.”

“I've learnt what children need for their mental health. After we go back home, we will try our best to provide individualized care to our children to meet their emotional needs.”

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

 
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