Development of a sustainable support system for foster parents

The aim of the project was to ensure the sustainable development of LFFS by developing methodological materials for the management of support groups which are based on the experience of Nordic Countries, therefore, facilitating the quality of alternative care.

The project was carried out in cooperation with partnered organizations from Norway and Finland. The target groups were foster parents and guardians, social workers and managers of support groups.

Main activities of the project:

  1. Experience exchange trips to the Nordic countries of Norway (Bergen) and Finland (Jyväskylä).

Topics of interest that were covered during the exchange trips: 1) The organization of support groups; 1) The most relevant themes found in support groups; 1) Hardships and obstacles that come up when managing support groups; 1) Methods that were used in the management of support groups.

  1. Development and implementation of methodological materials for the management of support groups.

This activity was carried out in Latvia, in the support centre “Cuckoo’s chick”. The participants of the project in cooperation with experts on the problems and needs of foster families and guardians from Latvia developed methodological materials for managing support groups consistent with the current state of foster children in Latvia.

  1. A discussion about the requirements for a successful, and never before implemented, support group project. This project consisted of a two hour-long meeting held between representatives of Latvian supports groups from each partnering organization. The meeting was held in Riga and Vecumnieki, and each meeting was made up of 15 participants.

After each meeting a discussion about the main conditions of successful activity of work groups was held. The place of discussion was Riga, Latvia at the Latvian Foster Families Society’s support centre “Cuckoo’s chick”, and the number of participants was 20.

  1. A conference entitled; “Development of a sustainable support system for foster parents = safe basis for children in foster families” was organized

In conclusion of the project’s activities in Riga, a conference for the members of Latvian Foster Families Society and other persons interested in managing support groups was held. The number of participants was 70, and the duration of the conference was 6 hours. During the conference the participants were introduced to the project’s activities, and were presented with the results of the project.  Two representatives from participating Nordic countries participated in the conference.

One of the most important results of the project is the understanding of sustainability that was gained by the cooperation with the foster parents and NGOs of the Nordic Countries.

The Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Latvia supported the project.

— December 2, 2013