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Feb 6, 2018

Successful year for the China training team

Training in full flow
Training in full flow

We’re pleased to report that 2017 was an extremely successful year for the project. As you know, we deliver training in family placement to orphanages across Asia, enabling them to set up or expand local family placement programmes. This means that children can be moved out of the orphanages and placed with local, loving foster families.

China is too large for Care for Children’s team to train all state-run orphanages, so a more innovative and strategic approach is required. Our focus in 2017 was to build the capacity of five more experienced orphanages that are strategically located across the country. Our hope is for them to become regional training hubs and examples of best practice in family placement, with the capacity to train and influence other orphanages within their respective provinces.

Over the year, we delivered training to 249 orphanage staff from these five orphanages, as well as a number of other smaller orphanages. We were delighted that several staff members from the five orphanages joined our team to co-deliver some of the training workshops.

Furthermore, each of the five orphanages delivered at least one training workshop independently of Care for Children. These workshops were attended by foster carers, their own staff and, in some cases, staff from other orphanages. This is an extremely exciting development as it goes a long way to ensuring that this work is sustainable in the long-term.

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

Training workshop
Training workshop
Orphanage staff learning about family placement
Orphanage staff learning about family placement
Dec 13, 2017

Project officially launched!

Care for Children's SE Asia Regional Manager
Care for Children's SE Asia Regional Manager

The big news since our last update is that the project has now been officially launched!

The project launch ceremony took place on Monday 20th November in partnership with the Vietnamese government. Approximately 50 people attended the event, including Robert Glover (Executive Director & Founder, Care for Children), Deputy Minister Ms Dao Hong Lan from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), Director Mr. Dang Hoa Nam from the Department of Child Affairs (DCA), the British Ambassador, Mr Giles Lever, as well as government officials from various ministries, departments and Social Protection Centres (orphanages).  

This was the first time that all the influential people related to the project were in one place, and we were given the platform to explain the foster care pilot project to all relevant parties. The speeches were insightful, passionate and engaging, promoting foster care as a new alternative to institutional care, and how it could be implemented in Vietnam with the support of Care for Children. 

Deputy Minister Lan remarked that the cooperation is "very good timing", and that she is "completely committed to its success". Ambassador Lever gave his full endorsement to what is a "major new programme" for Vietnam, remarking that the Embassy is "ready to stand with you and support this work wherever possible".

In order to raise awareness of the project, MOLISA invited many national and local television channels and newspapers to the event. In fact, the event featured on the evening news of VTV 1 (similar to BBC 1). We were also featured in Vietnam News, which can be viewed here.

While we realise this is just the beginning, we want to start as we mean to go on: with positive engagement of key stakeholders, building momentum, and a collective will to see orphaned and vulnerable children placed into loving families.

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

Launch ceremony
Launch ceremony
Care for Children's Founder & Executive Director
Care for Children's Founder & Executive Director
The ceremony in full swing
The ceremony in full swing
Nov 13, 2017

Thailand

A foster family
A foster family

We’re pleased to say that the Thai project has progressed with much the same momentum with which it left off in 2016. With the aim of rolling-out our family placement training across the country, the team completed core level training of all 20 government-run orphanages – a major achievement seeing as we only started our work in Thailand just five years ago!

Over the course of the year, the training team delivered 59 workshops for five orphanages, the last group to be trained: one located in the south of Thailand, one in the north-east and three in the central region, in total caring for over 1,300 children. A decision was made to hold the training sessions at each of the five project sites so that the maximum number of participants could attend, rather than at our training centre in the north. As four of the five institutions are homes for babies and are often quite short staffed, it is difficult for the caregivers to be gone for much longer than a day, therefore it is better if the training is on-site, even though some may have just completed a night’s shift beforehand.

Here are a few quotes from people involved in our programme:

“I am totally in favour of placing children from government orphanages into foster families, because I see the impact that living in an institution has on the children’s development and well-being. I want the children to be part of a family and receive all the quality care and warmth that a family can give. It would make such a difference to the caregivers in the orphanages if there were less children because as it is now, each of the buildings are so full and the caregivers are tired and stressed. My dream is to be able to move a whole building of children into foster families. Then we would be able to use that building as a child development centre.” Social Worker, Khan Tong Babies Home

“Living in an orphanage is like living in a box – there are so many rules. In a family, there are rules too, but there is also a sense of being free.  I’ve learnt so much from my foster family.  They have taught me the skills I’ll need for life.” Foster child

“I have worked with child welfare institutions for a long time and I understand their failings and weaknesses. I think the route we are on now [with foster care] is the right way to go. I have watched the development of the children in foster care over a long period of time; seeing the special love and bond that the children have with their families. Now I’ve seen how Care for Children has been imparting their skills and knowledge to the government orphanages and I think it is amazing and I want to thank you. Today as we visited the foster families, you could see something in the children’s eyes, the warmth and the happiness they have. The children’s development is so different from the children who live in the orphanages.  I think staff in these institutions agree that children need to be in families. I want to thank you for showing us the way for children to grow in a family environment and receive real warmth and real happiness.” Government official

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

Foster mother and child
Foster mother and child
Two foster children on their way to school
Two foster children on their way to school
 
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