The goal of Latvia’s SOS Children’s Villages association’s support centres is to provide a set of measures that would ensure promoting the well-being, safety, independence of a child and an increase in the number of guardians, people willing to adopt, host families and foster families, especially specifically trained foster families.
Who is it useful to?
Potential and existing foster families, specialized foster families, guardians, host families and , as well as children living with those families can receive support from specialists.
There are two types of specialized foster families:
- Crisis foster family that can take in a child separated from their family, guardian or foster family at any given time and
- A foster family for a disabled child who has been issued approval on the need for special care due to severe functional disabilities.
The main direction and content of support centers.
The main direction of our work in the Centers is: preparing and evaluating potential foster families, specialized foster families, adopters and attracting potential foster families, specialized foster families, guardians, adopters, host families, assigning children to foster families in cooperation with the custody court, providing support to a foster family, specialized foster family, legal guardian and the children.
How can the support center help?
- attracts new foster families, guardians, adopters, host families, specifically focusing on increasing the number of specialized foster families;
- provides training for potential adopters, specialized and potential foster families;
- supports potential foster families, specialized foster families and guardians in the proccess of obtaining the status and provide the necessary information to the custody court in order to decide on granting said status;
- supports foster families and specialised foster families, guardians and adopters, after taking in a child (support groups, counseling with a psychologist, etc.), can also provide support to the child;
- establishes collaboration with custody courts, social services, other outside-of-family support centers un other institutions supporting foster families, specialized foster families, guardians, adopters, as well as the children taken into these families;
- encourages a child placed in a specialized foster family, foster family, guardian’s family to maintain a relationship with their biological parents, brothers (half-brothers), sisters (half-sisters), relatives or other people significant to the child;
- provides and organizes knowledge development training for foster families and specialized foster families, guardians and adopters, as well as other target audience groups according to the needs;
- provides the police and custody court with access to information at all times about specialized crisis foster families that can take in a child at any time;
- in collaboration with the foster family, specialized foster family and guardian provides social support services to youth in outside-of-home care to transition to the independent life;
- can implement other services and actions that would be in the bests interests of the child.
Support is mainly provided during the work hours from 8.30 to 17.00. However, in case of crisis, all kinds of support can be received at all times, including situations when the police or custody court require information about crisis foster families that can immediately take in a child.