Polska pomoc

 

Special foster family care for the de-institutionalization of children with disabilities

The reform of the system of care for children without parental care began in 2005 and has been consistently implemented by Georgia, with the help of foreign donors. By 2013, approximately 50 big old-time care facilities were closed down and a network of family-type children’s homes was established. Even though the reform was generally successful, it did not solve the issue of proper care for children with disabilities, who are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and marginalisation on the grounds of their health and age. Two homes for children with disabilities were opened, offering care to 87 children (whereas, before the reform it was 4,100 children). There are 57 children aged 0-6 in the Tbilisi Infant House and 30 children aged 6-18 in the Kodjori Children’s House. In order to bridge the gap and close down the last two big children homes in Georgia, it is necessary to engage a sufficient number of foster parents and train them appropriately.

Since 2010 the Children of Georgia Organisation has cooperated with UNICEF, relying on its financial aid, to work towards developing the system of foster care for children with disabilities An efficient foster care system prevents children without parental care from being transferred to big state institutions and facilitates the process of de-institutionalisation. Georgia developed its national foster care curriculum and standards. The work on a new act on adoption and foster care is also coming to an end. The problem still lies in the limited training opportunities offered to foster families, especially those specialising in caring for children with special needs.

Special foster family care for the de-institutionalization of children with disabilities

The project is scheduled to be implemented from 1 July to 15 December 2016 in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tbilisi and its local partner, the non-governmental organisation - Children of Georgia. Its objective is to support the last stage of de-institutionalisation of the Georgian system of care for children without parental care by engaging and training foster parents and placing the children with disabilities from two state children’s facilities under their care.

The prospective foster parents will be selected by a consultant based on assessment and community interviews. Then, they will undergo a ten-day course with practical training elements. The course will be addressed to about 60 participants divided into 4 groups with 15 persons in each (two groups in Tbilisi and two groups in other regions). The classes will be conducted by a psychologist, a paediatrician, a group therapy specialist and a social worker.

The Social Service Agency, in cooperation with the partner organisation, will assign the disabled children to foster parents, to whom the Children of Georgia organisation will provide support in the form of individual consultations adjusted to their needs and based on the opinion of the social worker. The consultations will be held for the parents of 30 children four times a month, for four months.

Toys and educational and developmental accessories will be purchased for the disabled children, based on individual interviews and then handed over to the foster families. 

At least 60 foster families trained within the framework of the project will be its direct beneficiaries. Eighty-seven children with disabilities - guards of the two last state children’s homes in Georgia will be the indirect beneficiaries.

Special foster family care for the de-institutionalization of children with disabilities

The project was implemented from 1 August to 15 December 2016. Its objective was to support the last stage of de-institutionalisation of the Georgian system of care for children without parental care. The objective was accomplished by engaging and training a group of foster parents and placing 17 disabled children from the last two state children’s homes under their care. As part of the project, four series of training courses were organised for prospective foster parents of children with disabilities. Forty-nine people participated in the trainings and forty-four of them completed them. Twelve children had been placed in foster families even before the project was completed. All the foster families participating in the project received support in the form of several specialist consultations and equipment adjusted to the requirements of caring for disabled children, e.g. functional furniture, mattresses, rehabilitation equipment.

The project was co-financed by the Polish Aid grant amounting to approximately PLN 122,000 (approximately EUR 29,000) and its entire value amounted to approximately PLN 138,000 (approximately EUR 33,000). For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: EUR 1 = PLN 4.1749.