Project #11926

Foster Family Support for 50 Children in Russia

by St.Petersburg-based non-governmental organization 'Doctors to Children'

Dear Friends,

Today we are happy to present more successful stories of families that fostered children after graduating from our School for Foster Parents (SFP).

In February, DTC was contacted by a married couple, Nikita and Tamara. They had their own nine-year-old son and were about to foster Mikhail, an eighth-year-old boy. The child was living in one of Moscow orphanages. Participating in the SFP training, the couple said that the orphanage staff member were willing to meet their wishes, and permitted Nikita and Tamara to visit the institution to meet with the child. DTC psychologist and project social worker provided the family with individual consultations to prepare them for this meeting: they told them about the rules of communicating with orphanage children. On their return from Moscow, the family came to a decision to take the boy home as soon as possible.

In early April, shortly after completing the SFP training cycle, Nikita and Tamara were permitted to invite the boy to their place in St. Petersburg before they collected a complete package of documents required for fostering. DTC staff provided the family with a number of consultations on issues of short-term fostering, with the child visiting the family as a guest, main rules and principles of such type of placement, specifics of communication with the child in these settings, as well as the importance of establishing boundaries in interacting with an orphanage child.

Mikhail was staying with this family for around a week. This week was followed by one more meeting of Nikita and Tamara with DTC staff. The couple shared their fostering experience: they told the staff how the child was doing in the family, what it felt like, which challenges they faced, and what worked well. They said that they were able to establish warm relationship with the boy from the very beginning. Misha made friends with their son: they were spending time together, playing. Sometimes it happened that they “quarreled, but used to make it up in a short while”. By the May holidays all the documents were collected and the foster family was created. Presently, the boy is adapted in the family. His new parents continue to receive DTC’s assistance and consultations.

Two more children who lost family support found new families due to SFP graduates. In June, two-month-old Dima was adopted. In July, 1.5-year-old Andrey was placed in a guardianship family. Both families benefit from psychological assistance and consultations on adaptation issues.

We are grateful to you for supporting the Foster Family Project.


Dear friends,

We are happy to update you on the Foster Family project.

On the weekend, our clients – fostered children – visited the art shop by our faithful volunteer Tatjana Melissa. Tatjana conducted a wonderful and unforgettable workshop for the children and their parents.

It was a sunny day… and the work was humming in the shop: under Tatjana’s tactful guidance, the children were making perfumed SOAP.

On Sunday alone, the children made 3 kilos of soap, asked Tatjana 1,000 questions, and experienced 1,000,000 positive emotions!!!

We honestly believe that you also feel happy about these children who have found their families and exude joy now.

Please support our Foster Family project in the run-up to the World Children’s Day celebration on June 1.

Dear Friends,

Today we would like to tell you a story about the foster mother Anna and her daughter Olya

Background: In 2015, Anna, 26, fostered Olya, 5, upon completion of DTC’s School for Foster Parents. The child had serious health problems (ICP) and psychological concerns: fears and aggressive behavior. Under the Foster Family project supervision, Anna and Olya were provided with assistance in addressing challenges they both faced.

In the summer of 2015, Anna contacted DTC for a consultation. In the fall, the girl was expecting an operation to restore her hip joint, which gave her a chance to gain the ability to walk. The foster mother was worried by Olya’s emotional status before the hospitalization. The girl was suffering from severe pain and was afraid of doctors and medical interventions. Moreover, she began having nightmares… Due to arrangements by the project staff, a neurologist and a psychologist provided the family with recommendations. The girl was recommended play therapy to ensure that she is prepared for the operation and is emotionally well-of during the post-operation period. The therapy consisted in playing out different situations, including “doctor-patient”, “operation”, “recuperation”, etc. The operation was successful. In the hospital, the child was sleeping well and was emotionally stable. Afterwards, the girl needed long-term rehabilitation under the supervision of doctors. The foster mother and the girl were shocked by that and needed psychological assistance. Over several months, the project psychologist and social worker were supporting the family while the girl was in the hospital. Discharged, Olya spent several months in stirring plaster. It was a difficult period for the family, and the project staff continued to provide them with psychological support, consultations and humanitarian assistance. By the New Year the plaster was discarded, and the girl began to walk using a walking frame. Together with other foster families, they were invited to the New Year party organized by the project. The girl was happy to meet with her friends, play with them, participate in the festive performance and receive a gift from the Father Frost. Anna appreciated this invitation, as was also pleased to meet with other parents.

Presently, the family is receiving consultations of the project staff and participating in sessions of the Club of Foster Families. In the fall, Olya is going to a school for children with locomotion disorders. Anna hopes she will get by using a walking frame, rather than a wheelchair. We are wishing good health to Olya, and patience to her foster mother.

Today we would like to tell you about families that fostered children upon completion of our School for Foster Parents

In summer 2015, Alyona graduated from DTC’s School for Foster Parents. In April 2015, on vacation, she went to Amur region to see her parents. To St. Petersburg, she returned together with the boy Kirill, 3 and a half years of age, whom she fostered. DTC psychologist, social worker and pediatrician provided the family with consultations. The family is currently on the supervision of DTC’s Foster Family project, actively participating in the Club of Foster Families.

In February 2016, watching video passports of children who lost parental support, Tamara and Igor, a married couple, saw Misha, an 8-year-old boy from a Moscow orphanage. In a short while, they made a decision that the boy should grow up in their family together with their 9-year-old son. Their son welcomed the news that he would have a brother. The couple contacted DTC for a consultation on family placement of the child. Foster Family staff provided them with assistance and recommended them to enroll in the School for Foster Parents (SFP). At the end of February, they went to Moscow for the first meeting with the child. Before the trip, DTC staff counseled the couple on the rules of the first meeting. On their return home, Tamara and Igor came to an understanding that they should take this child, and began to collect a package of documents for taking him as a guest until they graduated from the School and had all the required documents for fostering the boy for good. In March 2016, the couple started their course of SFP training. The orphanage’s staff permitted them to take the boy home during the spring holidays. The family received Foster Family consultations about the principles of short-term placement of children and communication with the child at this stage. In April, the family graduated from the SPF, collected the full package of documents and left for Moscow for the boy.

We are grateful to all of you for your contribution to supporting foster families and gifting childhood to orphans.

New Year Celebration Party for Foster Family Project Clients.

On December 20, 2015, the Radisson Royal Hotel hosted a New Year celebration party for the clients of DTC’s Foster Family Project. That day, parents and children found themselves in a real New Year fairy tale: actors of the Tarabum Theater did their best to make the evening unforgettable for all. Children with their parents were playing guessing games, participating in contests, singing and dancing. Father Frost called on, bringing wonderful presents. The good wizard tried to meet all the wishes, and each child was gifted a wanted present. The children prepared a performance for the long-awaited guest – reciting verses and singing songs, and dancing around the beautiful New Year tree. The greetings and gifts giving ceremony were followed by a tea party. The hotel restaurant prepared delicious meals and desserts for children and parents. The children especially welcomed a cake with fireworks.

We are glad to know that the Foster Family Project has friends and follow-thinkers. This is due to your participation that we are able to find parents for children from shelters and orphanages.



Dear friends,

After several months we are happy again to share the MAMA+ Project achievements as well as the latest news with you.

Last time, we told you a story of a mother and her daughter (Ksenia and Dasha) who had to move to St. Petersburg. It is great that everything is getting better step by step in this small family, and we are grateful to you for supporting the MAMA+ project. 
Ksenia and Daria appreciate the project staff members for their assistance in the difficult life situation. MAMA+ staff assisted the woman in renting housing and contacting a partner government social services center locally, where she was supported in paperwork for having her child enrolled in a kindergarten. Unfortunately, placing an HIV-positive child in an ordinary kindergarten is still a problem. DTC helped Ksenia register for children’s allowances and receive a confirmation of her child’s disability status in St. Petersburg. The woman and her daughter visited the MAMA+ Center: Ksenia was in care of the project psychologist. In early October, Dasha began to attend a government kindergarten, and her mother was able to find employment. We are glad to know that, and we are wishing Dasha good health.

We are happy when we are able to support a family in a difficult life situation, change public attitudes related to HIV-positive children and adults, and obtain justice.

Today we are going to tell you a story about Eugenia and her son Kirill who are currently on active assistance of the MAMA+ project.

Eugenia, 36 years old, and Kirill, 8 months old.

In February 2015, a long-awaited child Kirill was born in the family of Eugenia and Maksim. Both parents have history of using drugs and being in conflict with the law. However, by the moment of Kirill’s birth they had been in remission for over five years (both parents are HIV-positive). Maksim was employed, and the family was renting a room in a communal apartment. The parents prepared everything for the baby: furniture, clothes, and toys. During her pregnancy, Eugenia visited the AIDS Center where she was told about the MAMA+ Center, and was taking the therapy.

When their baby was 4 months old, Maksim was made redundant at work, and the financial status of the family deteriorated. The family faced the lack of funds to buy baby formula for Kirill. Eugenia contacted MAMA+ staff for assistance. The project began to support the mother and her child, providing them with assistance in purchasing baby formula and diapers. At home visits, MAMA+ staff trained the woman on child care and development issues. They made the woman realize the importance of taking care of her child’s health status, and arranged a consultation with a neurologist for the boy. The doctor prescribed physical therapy and additional examinations and tests for Kirill. The boy’s mother complied all recommendations given by doctors. At five months, the boy experienced the first seizure (severe spasms)… he was placed in a hospital where he was diagnosed West syndrome (epilepsy at early age). Kirill spent almost a month in the hospital, and the doctors took pains to stop the seizures, using superpotent medication. Nobody knows what is in store for the baby, and the doctors refrain from making any prognosis. Nevertheless, one thing is clear: the boy should be under continuous medical monitoring and take a course of expensive medicaments. The project staff continue to provide the family with psychosocial support, assisting them at every stage of resolving the problem.

Now the boy needs a qualified epileptologist, who would assist him over the continuous period of treatment. The treatment and diagnostics are very costly. One of the required medicaments costs over 8 thousand roubles ($130).

Together with Eugenia, we hope for the best.

MAMA+ staff will continue to support the woman and her child. And we kindly ask you to support the MAMA+ Project.


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Project Leader:
Elena Karaseva
St. Petersburg, Russia

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