The UK charity Substitute Families for Abandoned Children (SFAC) were in Romania last week delivering training for RICF’s maternal assistants and with the help of our team further training for state employed maternal assistants and social workers. Mick and Walter, who have been visiting Romania for a number of years were joined this year by a volunteer, Mandy, from Team Fostering in Sheffield. Mandy and her team hosted part of our psychologist, Simona’s, work placement in the UK earlier this year.
Mick, Walter and Mandy with the RICF team and maternal assistants
During the trip SFAC delivered sessions on a variety of issues including handling difficult behaviours, managing contact with birth families, communicating with children, child development and the effects of trauma on development.
Some of the RICF team facilitating discussions with state employed maternal assistants
We are very thankful to SFAC for their continued support and guidance as we hope to develop our own training capacity.
Thanks to a designated donation from Bushey Baptist Church we have recently been running an IT education course for our young people, their family members and maternal assistants looking at developing computer literacy skills and safety online. Here is some of the feedback from our beneficiaries who attended this course:
‘I loved attending that IT course because I was able to learn so many useful things. I wish you would organise more courses like that. Thank you so much’ (Young person)
‘It has been a wonderful experience and we spent a lovely time together. The course was well organised and the learning material was helpful. I’d like to attend more such courses to consolidate what I have already learned’ (Maternal Assistant)
‘I liked the course. The knowledge was presented in a manner and form that was understandable to all of us. Lunch breaks were excellent occasions to socialise. I hope you will soon organise more advanced learning courses’ (Young person)
‘The instructors were helpful, supportive and encouraging. They patiently explained each topic to ‘beginners’ like me. We thank so much to the sponsors and to all those who worked hard to put that project into practice’ (Mother)
‘The topics were very useful, tailored to the needs of the participants! What I have learned will help and guide me on how to relate to the child in my care’ (Maternal Assistant)
One of the IT course sessions
This course provided a good opportunity for the young people who we support in our different topics to meet each other and form new friendship groups. In particular some of the young mothers in our Maternity Project befriended some of our young people in foster placements. One unexpected outcome of this course was the opportunity that some of the young mothers took to counsel our female teenage foster children in relation to their life choices. One young mother in particular was keen to encourage her peers to resist peer pressure and think carefully about the friends that they make. We are thankful to Bushey Baptist Church for giving us the funding for this initiative.
Please see here for a full report with feedback and outcomes from the RICF 'invest in education' IT project.
Ruth Barley, 26/10/2016