Strong foster families make a world of difference for children who need care. In Ukraine too many children are still raised in institutions, and support for foster parents is identified as one of the greatest needs in the care system. We are rolling out a training programme to support foster parents, so they can give children the Secure Base they need to form healthy relationships and achieve their potential.
We linked with Dr Mary Beek at the University of East Anglia to introduce the Providing a Secure Base care model to Ukraine, after we found it was the best practice for care givers. The care model helps foster parents to improve their interactions with children, by understanding the special needs of a fostered child and how to respond, so children can thrive and achieve their potential.
To put this excellent tool into the hands of foster parents we are developing resources and a qualification for people who support them. Again this is possible through partnerships, as the International Leadership and Development Centre can add their expertise to create a complete training programme in Ukrainian.
Working with the right people is key, so we selected specialists who have the potential to sustainably support networks of foster parents. An initial group of 19 people from across Ukraine are enrolled from a mix of government and non-government organisations. Some are foster parents themselves, and all have the motivation to improve the lives of children within the care system.
The head of social services in the Kiev region responded:
"This is a very needed and timely programme for better parenting."
The group are on course to become confident and effective Secure Base trainers after completing the Fundamentals of Coaching in August, lead by ILDC in Kiev. They have new skills to practice and are familiarising themselves with Attachment theory.
September will see the specialists come together again for the Providing a Secure Base session in Lviv. They can then take the exciting step of leading their first training courses in their own regions. With our support and feedback, they will be ready to take this forward as part of their work.
We have seen the positive changes training can bring for children in care. Katerina, a foster mother to ten children from the age of 8 to 22, shared an example:
“I had problems with my foster son Stepan, we always had conflicts. After the training I began to analyse myself, my actions and Stepan’s behaviour, and began to change my attitudes. With understanding and calm we found a solution. Now I'm glad that Stepan stayed in our family.”
If you’d like to help us raise standards of care in Ukraine, why not sign up for our newsletter to learn more, or contact us and find out how you could get involved. Together we can support foster parents who open their homes and hearts for children.
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