Valeria (27 years old, City of St. Petersburg)
Valeria (Lera) was screened by Lyudmila Morozova, MAMA+ social worker, at one of St. Petersburg maternity hospitals. The woman confided that she had been using drugs. Her daughter Rita was born prematurely and transferred to a city children’s hospital. While in maternity hospital, Lera decided to abdicate her child, facing financial instability and receiving no support from her family members.
That time, she was living with her partner Andrey (Rita’s father). He had no permanent employment and was using drugs from time to time. He did not want a child. Her sister stopped any contacts with her after learning that Lera had began to use drugs and had HIV. Lera’s mother is an alcoholic. Her father died when she was 10.
When first contacted by MAMA+, Lera was emotionally unstable. She told about her problems which made her decide to abandon her child. The woman was offered psychological support and motivated to attend a substance abuse specialist. The project psychologist and social worker helped Lera realize she was willing to take her daughter back. Together with the project staff, Lera was visiting Rita in the hospital, bringing milk formula, diapers, and other this for the girl, and meeting with medical staff.
Meanwhile, MAMA+ staff members were working with Lera to develop parental model, as well as with her relatives to motivate them to take Rita to the family.
Lera took her daughter from the hospital. MAMA+ social worker assisted her in registering the girl with the Pediatrics Department of the City AIDS Center and the district children’s outpatient clinic. Lera hopes that the girl will remain healthy, because she was receiving preventive therapy during her pregnancy and delivery.
Together with her child, Lera visits the MAMA+ Daycare Center for consultations, parenting skills training, and peer support. The project social worker assisted the woman in obtaining children’s allowances.
The project interventions enabled Lera to stabilize her motional status and raise her self-esteem. Also, the woman obtained basic parenting skills. Due to the project support, she was able to improve relationships with her mother and sister.
She takes care of her daughter and loves her much. She wonders how she could abandon her child. Rita is now four months old. She is gaining weight, with first upper teeth appearing. The girl is growing up and developing very fast. Lera wants to get education and find a job to provide her daughter with everything she needs.
We hope everything will be alright with this family. But now both Lera and her daughter are in need of professional assistance and your support. We would like to thank you again for this opportunity to help children!