CAUSE: HUG FOR EVERY CHILD


снимка превенцияThe Future for  the Children Association is gathering donations to support the cause in the form of supplies and cosmetics for babies – diapers, adapted milk and more.

Since the beginning of 2014, a social worker from the Center for Community Support at the Future for the Children Association has been involved in the work of the Maternity ward at “Dr. Hristo Stambolski” Hospital in Kazanlak.His role is to inform and provide psychosocial counseling to mothers who have expressed a desire to abandon their child. The social worker visits the Department regularly and  upon request from a medical officer and / or employee of the Social Assistance Directorate of Kazanlak, responds quickly. A fast and coordinated response to the first signs of risk of abandonment is extremely important for every child to have the chance to live with their family rather than in a children’s home.

This was precisely the purpose of the “Hug for Every Child” work – to reduce the number of children placed in institutions by building up a system of parental support services and activities based on a complex approach and inter-institutional cooperation. It is part of the Trust in Children and Family program funded by the Tulip Foundation and Oak Foundation and is implemented by the Future for Children Association as a leading organization in partnership with the Kazanlak Municipality Directorate of Social Assistance, and “Dr Hristo Stambolski” Hospital. “Hug for every child” initially had a duration of 27 months and was due to expire in March 2016.

The Future for Children Association still continues to work on the Prevention Program. Psychosocial counseling at the maternity ward will be part of the organization’s activities to support the mothers and the extended family and the community. Supporting health consultations, raising parenting skills and competences, providing partial material support for the baby’s needs are just some of the complementary services and activities that we will continue with to help children and their families.

In this connection, we appeal to people and businesses to embrace our cause Hug For Every Child. We collect donations of diapers, adapted milk, baby cosmetics, baby strollers, beds and cots to help more children stay and grow in their families.

Currently, the Center for Comuunity Support  work with 4o families on prevention of abandonment and reintegration, increasing parental capacity to decrease the risk of  neglect. They are also working with underage mothers to support them to raise their children.

The Prevention Team of the Future for Children Association includes a total of three social workers, psychologists and nurses working mainly in the community. The formation of a mobile team and their services was made possible by the working conditions and the risk groups that we support. In addition to preventing the abandonment of newborns and /or the removal of children from biological families, the team also works to prevent subsequent risky and /or early pregnancies.

In January 2016, the social worker at the Maternity Ward advised four mothers against abandoning their child. During this period a completely successful prevention of  abandonment was made. Currently, the team is supporting the woman and the extended family in raising the child.

A total of 42  mothers were consulted in the maternity ward in the year 2015 in order to assess the attitudes and risk of child abandonment and 5  preventions of child abandonment resulted. Between March 2014 and December 2015 a total of 89 mothers were consulted in the maternity ward of “Dr. Hristo Stambolski” Hospital in Kazanlak and a total of 6 successful preventive interventions were carried out.

Some of these cases are subsequently addressed by the Center for Community Support and  are currently being worked out.

Several key activities and trainings have been carried out within the project to raise awareness of parenting capacities and to extend childcare competencies among risk groups such as Parents’ School, Toy Library and Training with students from seventh and eighth grade and their parents. As part of the training program topics included were:

  •  “Prevention of Early Marriages and Births”
  • “Family Planning and Sexual Health”
  • introduction to the Legal System and Bulgarian Legislation, and more specifically the sections on child protection and respect for childrens rights
  • criminal responsibility of parents and adult relatives of children.

Kaloyan Zahariev, Coordinator of the project “Embrace for Every Child”:

The purpose of these trainings is to change attitudes in children who are at risk of dropping out of the education system or living in a family life. Children are aware of the need to be educated because it would lead to their better realization in society, finding a job, better income, a better way of life. When there is an education and psychological work with parents we can achieve results and change the attitudes of those who have decided to abandon their child.

As part of the “Hug for Every Child” project, the “Hug me – I need you!” Campaign was launched in order to support the work of the Prevention of Abandonment Team and the social worker at the maternity ward. For the needs of the campaign information materials were placed in key places in the city. The Future for Children Association provides support for parents who feel insecure about the care of the newborn. Uncertainty is one of the reasons that prompts them to declare a desire to abandon their child in an institution. Usually everything goes hand in hand – poverty and poor living conditions, lack of family support, and so on. The task of the Future for Children Association is to work to overcome this and provide  timely and adequate support to parents. For the purpose of the campaign, a booklet to help young parents was printed providing practical advice to improve their skills.

Every parent can seek help and advice from us! Sharing helps!