Latvia’s SOS Children’s Villages association ensures support for families with children, who are experiencing difficulties, as well as offer different preventive and support services.
For children, moms and dads – families.
The specialists working in our family support centres are certain anyone can become a great parent, and are helping to develop those skills. Social workers, social rehabilitators, psychologists and other specialists help parents recognize opportunities to change their lifestyle and take responsibility for their own children. Currently, family strengthening and support centres are actively working in Riga, Bauska county, Valmiera and around the city. More than 400 children from approximately 200 families receive support within our projects every year.
What do family support centres do?
The goal for SOS Children’s Villages family strengthening and support centres is to help parents take responsibility and care for their children, so children can grow up in the most suitable environment - their own family, rather than a child-care institution. We offer families help and support of a team of specialists, depending on the specific situation and necessity.
Help is provided to families with children in our three locations in Latvia – Rīga, Bauska, Valmiera. Support centres cooperate with a family if:
- A child has been abandoned
A child has been exposed to physical, sexual or emotional abuse
Place of residence imposes danger upon a child
Insufficient care or upbringing is discovered in a family
A child has learning difficulties, misses school for long periods
Behavioral problems in social settings, offenses are present
A child is involved in conflicts between the parents
All staff members of SOS family support centres provide support in different daily issues, e.g. coaching in parenting and childcare skills, improving living conditions, solving health and hygiene issues, managing budget planning, dealing with employment issues, attracting necessary resources for the family in crisis, spending leisure time usefully.
“The family is a strong back that protects and gives strength. The family is the one that helps to create the self-esteem of every child, to learn the social skills we use in everyday life. Family experience is one of the most important in our lives. It is therefore important that family relationships are an example of harmonious rather than painful and negative experiences for children. ”
SOS Family support programme director
A teenager on lessons with the psychologist:
„I am happy I was invited to participate. I have learned that I can live with others. I would say it is interesting there. Feels nice to have friends, we talk to each other and play together. It is fun.“
A mother on her children participating in an event:
“Children were trying very hard. It does not happen like that elsewhere. They feel understood. And the process of communication…”
A mother on consultations with a psychologist:
“All specialists are interested and involved. It is not a job that can be done from one point to another. They look for solutions and I am heard and understood.”
A mother on collaboration:
“These are the only people, who understand and help me.”
A mother on collaboration:
„The first person to talk to me was the social worker. I did not know what exactly was the problem. I was heard for the first time. It creates the feeling the you are not alone and the opportunity to receive actual help.“