(A japanese proverb)
The project is aimed at children of an older school age, and adolescents living in children’s homes in the Czech Republic, children who will continue to live with us in our society. It involves targeting assistance at a particular child who is growing up, for many different reasons, in a children’s home, and takes the form of personal contact with the child. It should help as many children as possible to find a contact person outside the children’s home - their “PATRON”, who will be in contact with the child (either in writing or in person) already during the time when the child is in the home, and assist the child at the point when they leave the children’s home and at the beginning of their independent lives.
Most children, at the point of departure from the children’s home, cannot cope with organizational matters which are everyday things for the rest of the population and they have no-one to turn to for advice… they don’t know where to go, where to find employment…
A large percentage of these children return to their biological families, who were, and still are not, able to take care of them.
The result of this is that these children fail in adulthood in establishing traditional partnerships and in the bringing-up of their own children.
Most of the children’s homes are capable, with the help of the sponsors, of ensuring for the children a problem-free life on the material side. The children do not suffer on the material side during their time in the children’s home. But these children do not understand the real value of money, they often have negative experiences from their original families and it is almost impossible for them to get to know the world of normal social ties within normal family relationships, which very much complicates their transition from the children’s home to independent life.
Contact with a child - more HERE
Contact with a child was intended primarily as a suitable complementary support to a financial support for the child (Project Support me), designed in such a way that the supporter of the child would get a direct feedback from the child. A child would have the possibility to better understand who is helping him and for what reason. Simultaneously is contact with the child also an independent form of assistance.
The “Patron” can be in contact with a particular child in:
Help from the “Patron” can also take the form of, for example, accompanying the child to after school clubs in which he is interested, open days at schools where the child would like to carry on with his studies, and other activities above and beyond what the employees of the children’s homes cannot manage.
In cases of interest from both sides, it is possible and desirable to stay in contact with the child after their leaving the children’s home. To, therefore, help further with advice, opinions, recommendations, or your experiences during the first years of his steps into independent life.
Alternative forms of contact could involve offers of employment for a child who is leaving the children’s home, connected with the partial supervision of the child at the beginning of his journey into adulthood - providing accommodation at the transitional point after leaving the children’s home; helping a young person, a young family or a single mother without family back-up (in the form of visits to the household and perhaps then taking care of a child or helping with housework).
These forms of help are tackled in our project Help me into life.
A practical example of a functional family is, for a child living in institutional care, the best form of help for their inclusion in life outside the children’s home. One of the ways to help children who have a very low chance of returning to their family home or of finding a substitute family, is the idea of host care, which includes visits, later weekends and in some cases to stay for holidays in the child’s host family.
The aim of these visits is to give the children from a children’s home a chance to get to know the way a normal functional family works, to join in, for at least a short while, in the life of these families, to make stable emotional relationship outside of the children’s home and find motivation for positive behaviour themselves, which can significantly help in their psychological growth.
Host care is appropriate for children who are capable of accepting and understanding it and it should be available to every child who is interested in it, and who doesn’t have a high chance of returning to their own family or even to a foster family. It is not recommended for young children (under 10 years), who very easily and quickly establish emotional feeling towards the host family and are unable to comprehend the necessity of returning to institutional facilities.
In the case of host care, it is not advisable to act in haste - applicants should not make a rash decision!
It should be a weighed-up decision that should be well thought through ahead of time with all members of the existing family.
We offer parties interested in this form of help free inclusion in a seminar on host care, within the project ‘Find me….
You can find more information about host care under the link Host Care.