We train and support carers, foster parents and social workers, so the children they open their homes and hearts to are provided the supportive relationships and environment they need to flourish. Here we show what we do every year and the difference this makes.
Expert led training sessions for foster parents and carers
Family and English Camps for 203 foster parents and their children
Parenting in Action journals share best practice for carers across Ukraine
“If you want to help children, help their parents.” That is the motto of Iryna Shemechko, our CARE 4 CARERS manager. As an active campaigner for children's rights she is familiar with the challenges that care leavers face, and believes that every child should have a family.
Training strengthens family forms of care in Ukraine, where too many children are still growing up in institutions. By delivering 20 expert-led training sessions to new and existing foster parents every year, we equip carers to deal with the challenges of caring for children who have experienced trauma. We help foster parents avoid burnout or divorce, and improve relationships to create a supportive environment for children.
“Thank you for the meetings you organise, for assistance in raising foster children, pieces of advice given and for your tangible care. We feel that our needs aren’t ignored, that there’s someone reaching out a helping hand.” – foster parent
Parenting in Action journal
Our highly acclaimed Parenting in Action journal provides a national platform for sharing information and best practice, with 4,000 copies distributed this year.
“Parenting in Action is as topical as never! While reading I could feel a profound understating of parenting, the authors’ deep knowledge of problems foster parents face and a sincere desire to support them. The journal was a breath of fresh air for me. It has not been easy to parent 9 teens! I missed such information when in 2006 my family with four children opened its doors for to foster five siblings who were all older than our kids!” - Svitlana Derzhanovs’ka, foster mother and member of the Commission for Children’s Rights
Providing a Secure Base across Ukraine
To deliver national training in a globally recognised care model we are developing a curriculum to facilitate further training sessions, in partnership with the International Leadership and Development Centre. The Providing a Secure Base co-author, Dr Mary Beek of the University of East Anglia, has led some of our sessions and helped to adapt the model for the Ukrainian context.
We know that carers, foster parents and social workers need care and support too so they can provide the right environment for the children they nurture. With family camps, support groups, and personal interactions, we enable carers to help children thrive.
Family Camps and events
Care in Action is proud to host 128 parents and children in two annual four-day Family Camps, an English Camp for 75 children and carers, and our annual Talents in Action festival. Our staff, consultant psychologist and volunteers go the extra mile to not only make our events educational, but to give foster parents and their children the best time of their lives.
Foster parents say:
“Our daughter drastically changed, she was not afraid to interact with volunteers and felt so joyful and happy. No more words are needed!”
“The workshops for foster parents are extremely interesting. Meeting other foster families, who have rich experiences to share, is also very valuable for us. Such camps are a big need.”
It’s a hit with children too, some of whom look forward to Family Camp all year!
“It was the best four days ever! I’m very thankful to this team who gave so much to all of us.”
Support from peers and professionals
Our support group for foster parents meets twice a month, and is led by our team with a consultant psychologist. Parents also call us for advice and support. As a result, parents become more self-aware, use best practice to handle the challenges of foster parenting, and build a positive approach.
One example of the issues we deal with is how to secure a place in school for fostered children. There are negative stereotypes to overcome, and a lack of support for special needs. Together with psychologist Natalia Gercun we improve parents' abilty to communicate with people within the education system, and handle difficult behaviour at home, so children can be included in school and develop their potential.
Our programmes for children offer practical support which is also highly valued by carers.
People like you are helping us to better the lives and opportunities of children in care. You can donate, give time or be a partner so together we can make a sustainable difference.
Become a partner
You might like to partner with us by helping to raise awareness, develop skills or being a sponsor. We have workshops for children's development and carer training that need support. Or, perhaps there is something else?
This year 23 young people who are hardworking and bright, but can’t afford to pay school fees, have access to secondary school in Malawi through Care in Action. This is opening opportunities for work and higher education.
You know it’s Christmas at Care in Action when you see smiles on hundreds of faces, as volunteers, children from institutions and our local partners come together to share love and laughs and celebrate the year together.