Project «Creating the structure for training Professional parents»

A new term «professional substitute family» has appeared in Russia recently. This is a family where «one or two parents get a salary for child-raising». The term "Substitute families" is used to describe various types of families who take care of children left without parental care: adoptive parents, guardians, foster families, family-type orphanages.
There are 4523 children in our region that are left without parental care, about 3989 children are raised in substitute families, however, according to the experts, the creation of the institute of professional families is hampered by the following circumstances:

1) lack of standards for training professional substitute families, lack of a scientifically based system of social and psychological assistance to these families;
2) complexity of training professional parents;
3) low level of psychological readiness among potential substitute parents;
4) lack of federal programmes and appropriate funding;
5) lack of standards for the work of support services for professional substitute families.

Many orphans don’t need just a family, they need parents who have certain resources for their integration into the family and society, parents who are specially trained to live with a child who has  derivational developmental disabilities. The substitute family, focused on a long-term stay of a child, most adequately responds to the needs of this child. An analysis of the problems faced by substitute families shows that it is necessary to train future substitute parents to successfully overcome difficulties and to accept a child with all his or her personality traits.

Non-commercial organization «Project PARUS» together with the specialists from Kaliningrad Child and Family resource centre have developed a pilot project «Creating the structure for training Professional parents». The project is aimed at helping families who have already taken custody of a child as well as preparing potential adoptive parents and creating guidelines for social workers accompanying substitute families.
Project duration is 9 months. The expert group will monitor substitute parents and assess the adaptation level of  adopted children as well as the readiness of the potential candidates and the competence of social services. The result of the project will be the development of psychological and educational guidelines for substitute families and social service specialists.


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