Bringing neighbours closer
Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!About the programme
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04 March 2021
On December 30, 2019, the project was finished.
The first result of the project was a survey of 100 foster parents, guardians and adoptive parents living in Zemgale (Bauska, Vecumnieki, Iecava and Rundāle) about their wishes and needs. The most important problems faced by foster parents, guardians and adopters were the child’s behavioural problems, health problems and learning difficulties. When asked what kind of support they would like to receive, ~50% of respondents mentioned trainings for parents, ~30% expressed a wish for a support / self-help group and ~25% emphasized the importance of counseling by social worker. The project could successfully meet their wishes and provide necessary support.
The support work was performed by two specialists – social worker Liene Lapsa and psychologist Marta Kubliņa, who provided counseling for families and attraction of the necessary support. During the 19 months of the project, 72 foster / guardian / adoptive family development plans (FDPs) and 40 individual child development plans (CIDPs) were drawn (according the methodology, jointly created by project’s partners, SOS Children’s Villages in Latvia and Lithuania) and implemented. Meeting the needs and considering wishes of children and families, various health professionals were involved, the most in demand of which were a child psychiatrist, a psychologist, music and Montessori therapists.
Like any cooperation project, this one involved the exchange of experiences. Foster parents, guardians and adoptive parents from Latvia visited Siauliai in Lithuania and Lithuanian out-of-family care providers visited Bauska. Specialists shared their experience as well: two groups (5 participants per group) from Zemgale, consisting of project staff and invited specialists of orphans’ courts and social services, visited Vilnius and Siauliai. Similarly, colleagues from Lithuania were welcomed in Bauska and Vecumnieki. The participants acknowledged that it was very valuable to see how people are doing similar work in a neighbouring country.
Quite similar activities were carried out by the partner organisation – SOS Children’s Villages Lithuania, supporting out-of-family care providers and representatives of local governments and institutions in Siauliai and Pakruojes area.
The project also provided training according to the internationally recognized PRIDE (Resources, Information, Development, Education for parents) programme – in Latvian translated as “AIRI vecākiem”. The training was divided into two groups. The first was for anyone who is already or is still considering becoming a foster parent, guardian or adopter. Thus 27 hours of training were provided for three groups (12 participants each) in Bauska, Vecumnieki and Iecava counties. The second group was intended for foster parents, guardians and adopters who already take care for a child – 12-18 hours of training modules were provided for three groups (12 participants each) in the above-mentioned counties. Also 32 specialists from orphan’s courts and social services of four counties were informed about out-of-family care (24 hours training). All these trainings were provided by “AIRI vecākiem” coaches Ilze Naguraviča and Daila Balcere.
One of the added values of the project was that by amendments to the budget, it was possible to organize two great summer activities for the project families. In July and August 2019, foster families with children and then teenagers growing up in foster, guardian and adoptive families, played sports, visited interesting places, learned new skills, sang and simply had a good time together under the guidance of specialists working in the Project.
As the result of project’s work, recommendations were created for the national ministries as well as involved municipalities for better provision of out-of-family care, empathising the need of support, trainings and individual specialist consultations for foster families, guardians and adoptive parents, as well as necessity of implementing and regular monitoring of family development plans (FAP) and more specific and needs-based services for children, according to Individual Child Development plans. We are happy that “AIRI vecākiem” programme was evaluated as very good and useful. But there is still a need to improve cooperation with other stakeholders – orphans’ courts, social services, schools, etc.
Let me just remind you that anyone who needs support with these services are welcome also after the official end date of the project!
The support activities for guardians, foster and adoptive parents are provided by SOS Out-of-family support centre “AIRI vecākiem” in Zemgale, Latvia (in the premises of Īslīce SOS Children’s Village, more detailed information can be obtained by calling +371-278800310), as well as by SOS Children’s Villages Lithuania (+37052705091)
Last updated: 02.12.2021 17:32