Assistance To At-Risk Children In Ukraine And Today’s Status Of Foster Care In Ukraine

Foster Care In Ukraine

The atrocities of the Ukraine-Russia war keep happening. Images of several Russian attacks on infrastructure used by civilians to celebrate New Year’s were widely reported in yesterday’s news. The Russian government wants the remaining Ukrainians in the nation to surrender or freeze. The most vulnerable group continues to be the millions of Ukrainian children who remain in Ukraine. Our team of child welfare experts from the US and Ukraine is still assisting them by providing evacuation assistance from hazardous regions and using both a general and individualized child sponsorship method.:

In August 2022 UNICEF reported over 7.5 million children directly affected by the ongoing war. Per today this number is not known, our team estimates that it has almost doubled. Children, many of whom are left without their parents lack security and peace of mind. We are reminded that a child’s psychology is much more susceptible to sounds of air sirens and images of war compared to an adult. The emotional consequences for Ukrainian children, thus the future generation will be terrifying and this is adding to the already difficult situation Ukrainians orphans and other at-risk children had before the war even started. Ukraine was the poorest country in Europe with 106,000 children in orphanages.

One obvious solution to remove children from orphanages the developed world has found decades ago is through the foster care system. However, creation, training and supporting the foster families and family type homes in Ukraine has been a difficult process to say the least. We discussed this issue in our previous articles and today will share with you some more insight of our local experts on how local child care officials in Ukraine are challenged by the foster care approach. Training, for instance, which is crucial to foster care sustainability has not been organized and funded well in most Ukrainian regions. Some bureaucrats who came to work in deinstitutionalization reform in Ukraine tried to “tick off” the training requirement posed onto them by the Ministry of Social Policy – the main governmental body implementing the foster care reform. During site visits many local officials were found less than committed to move this process qualitatively.

As we discussed in previous articles several professional western organizations provide training for potential and current professional (foster) parents with success. Ukraine needs more international experience in this sphere. In depth foster care training shows in detail the level of responsibility foster parents take upon themselves with fostering a child and the candidates who are not yet ready realize it during such training. In other words, prospective professional parents’ training can be viewed as “selection mechanisms” in addition to straight forward preparation courses for future foster parents. These trainings have already allowed child care experts to create preliminary databases of parents who are waiting to take children in case the housing issue will be resolved and financial support secured. Also, there is research being conducted in Ukraine as to adaptation of orphans to professional parents and vice versa, led by one of foster parents from Kirovograd region (central Ukraine). Surveys of children performed in Foster Families and Family Type Homes prove that they are in much better state of emotional health and are getting better prepared for future life. The children have concrete plans for their future lives. They have an idea of where they will live and can name people who can help them in their life. They have good knowledge of their rights, responsibilities, state allowances and facilities provided for orphans.

Through a personal sponsorship program, we continue to keep an eye on and assist orphans and other of Ukraine’s most vulnerable children. Please think about joining us!

Francis Baylon
Francis Baylon is a creator, writer, and publisher with a deep knowledge of every heritage. Worldwide research taught her that every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.

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