There are many good things happening in our work with carers that we would like to share with you. Our training and support groups continue to help foster parents work through their challenges, and our resources for carers are now reaching even further across Ukraine as we add expert articles to our website. This brings positive changes for children in care.
Some highlights from our work in 2020 are:
- 4 professional training sessions for teachers, foster parents and carers
- 18 Social Workers trained in Providing a Secure Base in Uzhgorod
- Weekly online support groups for 70 foster parents
- Parenting advice on our website in our new resource section
With two of the training sessions we helped to address the unique challenges in education for children who have a difficult background. We took a holistic approach by improving the skills of teachers, foster parents and employees of the Child Support Center. They learned the fundamental methods for teaching children who have experienced trauma from coach Ulyana Dolynyak.
Along with training, regular support groups led by a psychotherapist help foster parents find solutions to the problems they face, and these are now meeting online. Sometimes individual consultations are needed as well. Getting the right advice made all the difference for Oksana when her fostered daughter was running away from home:
“I was in despair as there was no one qualified to help me in our small town. Care in Action helped with free regular consultations for us and our daughter with qualified psychologists which were so needed. With their support and understanding I could understand and improve my daughter’s difficult behaviour. She stopped running away from home, began to trust us, and the whole atmosphere in the family has improved.”
We work with 39 foster families and family style children’s homes in the Lviv region throughout the year, and help to make expert advice available for foster parents across Ukraine. Oksana explains why this is so important:
“As foster parents there are often situations we don’t expect or behaviour that we don’t understand. Before I didn’t know who to ask what to do and how to help each child. Thanks to your training, I found a new meaning to parenting and changed my behaviour and attitudes. I am so grateful for the support group meetings. They empower us and our children’s upbringing. Similarly the support from the project coordinator Iryna Shemechko always inspires us with positive thinking, optimism and a desire to do more to help our children.”
To reach as many carers as possible, we work with Social Services and other organisations, and one of the ways we do this is by publishing our Parenting in Action journal. This year’s edition is in the works, with specialists preparing articles on topics such as how to handle aggressive behaviour. We distributed 4,000 copies last year and requests have come in for more copies.
We are now making some of these articles on Responsible Parenting available in our website. We have launched a new Resource section, so even more foster parents in Ukraine can access the training and advice they need. With improved skills, more parents like Oksana can help children grow up with wellbeing and security, so they have better opportunities to succeed as adults.