In 2015, Natalya ended up in prison and her ten-year-old daughter Lena was placed in the Safonovsky orphanage. Fortunately, a year later, Lena’s elder adult sister was able to pick up the girl from the orphanage. This young woman took custody of Lena and took the girl to her place in Voronezh.
Of course, all the traumas this teen girl had gone through had a negative impact on her behavior. Lena's aggression, rudeness, unwillingness to learn actually veiled her fear and helplessness. The girl diligently built a wall between her inner self and those people who were nearby at that moment. The elder sister, yet inexperienced in raising children, could not cope with the “difficult” child and there was no one to help her. In the end, the woman refused the custody of her younger rebellion sister, so Lena returned to the state institution. This time it was the Voronezh social rehabilitation center.
Shortly after this happened, Natalya got out of the prison, however, this did not become a salvation for the 13-year-old girl either. Lena could not stay at her mother’s place for a long time since there were no normal living conditions and Natalya didn’t have a job. Moreover, the woman abused alcohol. Meanwhile, Lena turned out to be on her own, so she started glugging and skipping classes.
School absenteeism resulted in the fact that guardianship authorities drew attention to the family and recommended Natalya to send her daughter to an orphanage under an agreement. This is a frequent solution proposed by the state to families in difficult situations. Officials insisted that the orphanage was a temporary measure and that within a year Natalya would be able to get her life going and find a job so that there would be no obstacles to take the girl home. Natalya agreed and signed an agreement with the state. She also felt like that would be a better solution, primarily for her daughter. This is the way Lena ended up in the Safonovsky orphanage.
Psychologists of the Charity Fund “Our Children” (“Deti Nashi”), who work with the children raised at the Safonovsky orphanage, began to work with Lena in 2018. They helped the girl adapt in the orphanage and cope with a stressful situation through individual sessions. They helped Lena to re-experience the past in order to get over separation from her mother and the abandonment of her sister. Thanks to the support of psychologists, after a while Lena was able to accept a difficult situation and sort out her feelings.
During their sessions, our specialists noted Lena's steady attachment to her mother and the girl’s desire to live with her parent. The counselors of the Fund joined in, too. They contacted Natalya, discussed the situation with her and, together with the woman, made a plan for overcoming the crisis. Natalya tried her best to change her life for the better. She got formally employed by the same orphanage to be closer to her child. She put her old housing in order and went through coding therapy to stop drinking alcohol.
Not everything had worked out before the agreement expired, so the guardianship sent documents to the court to deprive Natalya of her parental rights.
At the trial, both daughter and mother insisted that they wanted to live together, but this small family could not win the case, although they had the support of the lawyer of the Fund. We helped Natalya file an appeal with a higher court trying to overturn the decision to deprive her of her parental rights. Unfortunately, the family also lost in the second instance court. Nonetheless, Natalya does not want to give up. We are currently getting prepared to defend Natalya’s parental rights in the Supreme Court and we are doing this together with Lena.
Each case in our practice is a labyrinth, and no one knows in advance whether there is a way out of it. We share responsibility for the result of working with the family. Our specialists provide families with their support: psychologists help people to believe in themselves, and counselors give instructions on ways to act in various situations and on the steps to be taken.
Our work is based on proven methods and on our own experience in such cases. We are inspired by the stories of families that have overcome crisis with our support and whose children grow up at home, in their own family.
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