Thailand Foster Care Transition Homes

by CORD Ministries International
Thailand Foster Care Transition Homes
Thailand Foster Care Transition Homes
Thailand Foster Care Transition Homes
Thailand Foster Care Transition Homes
Thailand Foster Care Transition Homes
Thailand Foster Care Transition Homes
Hannah graduation
Hannah graduation

In the past quarter, we have had two kids transition home successfully. Hannah has been with Heather for about 16 months, with a break during summer holidays last year. She graduated from junior high school in early April and had the largest turnout of friends and family of any student there! It was fun to celebrate her. Also in early April, her sister moved into their new house and we were able to collaborate with Faithful Heart Foundation and the Bethany Global University intern program to provide most of their necessities. The house was basically a shell, just walls and floors, so between the 3 teams and many donors who supported this move, we contributed beds, bedding, closets, a sink, washing machine, stove, fridge, drying racks, curtains, and kitchen and bathroom supplies. It was a fun day. Finally, on April 11, Hannah officially moved in with her sister and baby nephew. Immediately after that, the country went into lockdown as we experienced a new and the most intense wave of COVID so far. Hannah and her sister have been enjoying setting up their new place together. 

In March, Butsaba and Jay had a foster son. His parents work in construction, which means they move from place to place as the jobs come. They moved to an area about an hour's drive from Pat's school, so he was going to have to miss his last month of 2nd grade and repeat the entire year again in a new school district. We have been helping his family in getting their citizenship cards for the past year, so they asked us for help in this situation. Pat stayed with Butsaba and Jay from Monday to Friday and was with his parents on the weekend. After school finished, they dropped him off in the village with his parents and where he has lots of extended family living as well. He will transfer and start at the school near there in May. Because he has so much extended family, if his parents need to move again, he will be able to stay with the relatives and not have to be disrupted further. During his time with Jay and Butsaba, they taught him the alphabet song in English and worked with him every day on his reading. His teacher said he improved a lot in just the month he was with them. We know from a psychological and emotional perspective that staying with parents is the best for the child, but it's difficult for the parents when they are illiterate and aren't able to help their child with homework. One of the benefits of Pat being in the village is he can get help from his older cousins and neighbors if his parents are unable to understand his homework. We are looking forward to him getting his Thai ID card later this year when the goverrnment offices reopen after the current lockdown. 

Thank you for supporting our transition homes, it enables us to provide care and support for not only the children but their families as well, and provide assistance for a successful transition that they otherwise may not have. 

Last day of school KFC dinner with Hannah and Pat
Last day of school KFC dinner with Hannah and Pat
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Christmas at Heather's with all the kids/siblings
Christmas at Heather's with all the kids/siblings

Well, 2020 has been a bit different than we anticipated in this area as in every other area in the world! We anticipated working more with the Chiang Mai orphanage in providing care to children transitioning home or being adopted to other countries, but both those programs were impacted by COVID-19. We did work with Faithful Heart Foundation to provide transition homes for 4 teen girls. Two of the girls lived with Butsaba and Jay and transitioned to a long term foster home in May, where they are doing well. 

The other two girls, May and Ben, lived with Heather. The day after Thanksgiving, May moved in with her older sister and brother-in-law and has been enjoying their time together. We worked with Faithful Heart Foundation to provide a water system consisting of a water pump, a tank and a filtration system so they can access clean water for showering and washing clothes. We also provided assistance with household items such as a stove, a sink, a bathroom water heater and even helped paint the house so it feels like new! We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the family as part of our Building Family Dreams program for 2021. 

Ben will live with Heather until she finishes 9th grade in April, when she will transition to living with her sister Uiy and niece and nephews (including baby Kam Pii, born on November 25). Her sister and the baby spent the Christmas holidays with them while the other kids stayed with their grandparents. Uiy is nearly done with a sewing course and has become an amazing seamstress so we are sure she will have no problem getting work to sustain the family will continued assistance from Faithful Heart Foundation and our Building Family Dreams program. 

We anticipate more short-term placements in 2021 and thank you for your support!

 

Sincerely, 

Heather, Jay and Butsaba

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Thank you to those who have supported this project. Much has changed since our last report. (**Please don't share or forward photos**)

 

The two girls who were with Jay and Butsaba have settled into their new home and seem to be doing well. One of the girls has ODD (Oppositional Definace Disorder) and is receiving counseling services for the first time, which has helped her and the family immensely. Both girls started at a new school and are doing well there. 

The two girls who were with Heather both have positive updates to report. Martha, who graduated 9th grade in the spring, will be moving in with her older sister next month! Her sister and brother-in-law moved from their studio apartment to a 2bed/2bath house not far from her sister's work. The best part: it's actually less expensive than the apartment! The downside: It was completely devoid of any time of furniture, including a kitchen sink! Through donations from a few amazing supporters, we were able to outfit them with a washing machine, kitchen sink, fans, kitchen table and various other household items. Along with Faithful Heart Foundation, we are planning to have a move in day celebration when Martha officially moves in next month. 

Hannah is still staying with Heather as she finishes 9th grade, and her sister recently moved down to Chiang Mai. She is expecting a new baby, but the goal is to provide assistance to her when the new baby arrives and have Hannah move in with her sister after she graduates 9th grade. Hannah's sister spent a week with Hannah and Heather before she found a new place, and it seems like this will be an ideal housing situation for both of them. The best part of foster care for us is family reunification and seeing the kids end up in a place where they can thrive. In addidtion, both Martha and Hannah's sisters have joined our Building Family Dreams program, so we will be able to provide support and follow up care for them for about a year beyond their reunification. 

Finally, one of Heather's former foster daughters, who went to the US as an exchange student, graduated high school and stayed with Heather and Hannah for a month before starting college in Chiang Rai Province. It was fun to have her and bittersweet to send her off to college, but we are all excited for this next chapter in her life. Statistically, fewer than 50% of foster kids are able to attend and graduate college, so this is a big deal for her. 

Thank you for your support as we continue to assist children through transitions in their lives and help prepare them for new placements. 

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16th Birthday celebration at the reservoir
16th Birthday celebration at the reservoir

The four girls we provided care for since December are all moving into different phases. The two sisters cared for by Butsaba and Jay will transition into their new long term foster home in May. The exciting thing is their new foster parents have been friends of ours for many years, so we will be able to easily maintain relationship with the girls. We plan to include them in activities with Jojo's Sanctuary and sometimes they will stay with Jay and Butsaba when the foster parents need to go out of town. 

Of the two girls who stayed with Heather, one is spending the Thai summer holidays (normally March-May, but extended until July due to the COVID crisis) with her family in the mountain village. It was decided that she would return to Chiang Mai to complete her minimum education requirements here before transitioning to live with her relatives in another province. She will continue to stay with Heather during the school year. 

Our final girl just graduated from 9th grade and tested into a private school for high school, which we are all excited about. She also turned 16 while in our care, so we were able to take all the kids out to celebrate with a day at the reservoir complete with kayaks and waterslides. Currently, we are working with the team of Faithful Heart Foundation to find the best placement for her in her extended family. The ideal scenario is for her to live with her older sister, but other family members are opposed to this while not wanting to care for her themselves. We are hopeful that we can address all the family members' concerns and feel confident in maintaining harmony in the family while giving her what she wants and needs in living with her sister, who is her closest living family member. The goal is to have this transition completed by June 1. 

Foster care placements by the govenrment are on hold for the time being due to the COVID=19 situation worldwide. We anticipate receiving one or two new foster children by the fall, once restrictions are lifted and social workers are allowed to begin doing home visits once again. 

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Two of the girls we are providing a home for
Two of the girls we are providing a home for

As 2019 was winding down, we had the opportunity to partner with a local foundation to provide some short term emergency care for 4 teen girls. Each of our foster homes took two of the girls. We were so happy for this chance to collaborate and provide a safe place for these girls. We are also excited by the fact that two of them will get to move back to their family of origin when this semester of school ends. Two of the other girls are unable to return to their families of origin, so we are helping find a long term placement option, and have hopes that they will move on to a safe and loving home that will help them grow into compassionate and self-sufficient adults. We thank you for your assistance in supporting this project! 

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Organization Information

CORD Ministries International

Location: Wickenburg, AZ - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @JojoSThailand
Project Leader:
Heather Askew
Wickenburg, AZ United States
$412 raised of $8,000 goal
 
7 donations
$7,588 to go
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