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Foster care (Part 2)

Foster care video by Andriy Chuprikov

In this video, Chrissie Gale talks to Andriy Chuprikov, who lives and works in Ukraine, and asks him about foster care programmes in his country.

Andriy has been National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Ukraine since 2008. He has more than fifteen years of experience working in human rights protection including Tacis EU programmes and World Bank Group business development projects. His public activities include being a member of the UK-Ukraine Professional Network under British Council in Ukraine.

Andriy reflects on some of the challenges of developing a foster care system and provides specific examples of this in the context of Ukraine.

Whilst listening to Andriy it would be helpful for us to consider the investment needed to ensure a safe, effective, and high quality foster care service. Although in some countries foster care can be less costly than residential care, start-up costs may initially be quite high. It is essential, however, that all necessary investment is made if we are to uphold the “suitability” principle.

We might also consider the issue of remuneration and allowances for foster carers. Are such payments appropriate? What levels should they be set at? Who should receive them, and what are the advantages, but also possible challenges this might create? Is it an allowance that is provided for the child’s needs or is it a “salary” on top of the child’s needs? Some countries find it important to provide an allowance to foster carers. In others, paying foster carers can lead to such difficulties as resentment in the community where, for example, informal kinship carers receive nothing. Research in Bulgaria, for example, has shown that some parents with children with disabilities would not have relinquished their children into alternative care if they had been provided with financial assistance to cover additional health care and other costs.

Finally, let us consider how the creation of foster care should not be the panacea for replacing the use of institutions or other forms of residential care. It is not the answer for deinstitutionalisation to move children out of institutions into foster care without also first considering reintegration.

The texts in the ‘See Also’ section below were used when creating this week’s materials – you can consult them for more information on the topic.

This article is from the free online

Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

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