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Training in Portugal for Foster Families: “Working with children with special/specific needs”

Training for foster families on “Working with children with special/specific needs” was held in Lisbon, Portugal, from February 27th to March 3rd, 2023. The hosts of the training were the Portuguese partners from Instituto de Apoio à Criança (IAC).

The training started with a brief presentation of IAC, as well as a presentation of the foster families.

During the week the following subjects were addressed:

  • Foster Care in Portugal.
  • The role of foster families: Competencies and success in Foster Care.
  • Management and promotion of Children’s and Youth’s needs and well-being.
  • Management and promotion of Children’s and Youth’s relationships with others.
  • Management of personal competencies and emotions as a Foster Family/Caregiver.
  • The challenges of Children in Foster Care: What to expect from the unexpected?

The theoretical presentation was complemented by a workgroup and several videos to encourage reflection and debate.

On the last day certificates confirming participation in the training were handed out.

All participants rated this training as very good and gave positive feedback.

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Training for foster families in Poland – “Initial building of good relations between foster parents and children”

From 23 to 27 January 2023. in Żory, Poland, a training entitled “Initial building of good relations between foster parents and children” was held for foster families from Poland, Portugal and Lithuania. The training was conducted as part of the project „Conscious Parent Academy – Replacement parent urgently needed!” project number 2020-1-PL01-KA204-082283.

During the training, participants gained knowledge on the following topics:

  • organization of foster care in Poland,
  • building good relations between foster parents and children,
  • upbringing in a foster family,
  • building good relationships in a peer group.

The above topics were discussed during:

– training classes at the Municipal Library in Żory,
– study visits to professional foster families from Żory,
– study visit to the day support center – Children’s Home “Horyzont” in Żory.

During the workshops in the “Horyzont” Hall, all participants took part in active intercultural and intergenerational integration using the “Klanz” method, which is based on multidirectional activity combining movement, music, dance, art and cognitive activities. The following were used for this purpose:

– games related to the organization of initial situations (establishing contact with the group),
– playing with an animated scarf, during which the participants additionally learned the names of colors in different languages ​​(English, Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Ukrainian).

Families were also presented with the forms used in sociotherapy concerning work on emotions and team integration. Participants learned what primary emotions are and how to call these emotions in the above context. The tools used in team building, i.e. the circle of communication and the circle of cooperation, were also discussed.

During the training, the foster families, in addition to expanding their knowledge, had the opportunity to visit the City of Żory, the City Museum in Żory, the Historic Ignacy Mine in Rybnik, the Historic Palace and Park Complex in Pszczyna, the European Bison Farm and the open-air museum in Pszczyna and historic Krakow.

“I think that the training for foster families was very good, fruitful and useful. Thanks to this training, foster families could learn about the functioning of foster care in another country, thanks to which they can understand, appreciate and see the differences and similarities. In addition, foster families had the opportunity to share their own thoughts, observations and problems resulting from performing their functions, thanks to a joint conversation they understood that they are not alone and all foster families face similar problems. I also consider the classes in the “Horyzont” common room to be very successful, where there was a lot of integration through fun and laughter. Many tasks related to building relationships, trust, recognizing emotions and their meaning. It was a nice experience because of multiculturalism – a lot of positive emotions and breaking down barriers in relationships.” – said one of the trainers about the training.

Each day the participants of the training became more and more integrated with each other and with the teachers. Participants of the classes gained a lot of practical knowledge and techniques of building good relationships that they will be able to use in their families.

Good relationships are the basis of a happy family

On January 23, 2023. foster families started a training course entitled “Training – Initial building of good relationships between foster parents and children.” implemented within the project
„Conscious Parent Academy – Replacement parent urgently needed!” project number 2020-1-PL01-KA204-082283.

Thanks to the Municipal Social Welfare Center in Żory acting as a host organization, foster families from Lithuania, Portugal and Poland have the opportunity to expand their knowledge on building relationships between foster parents and children. Each of the participants takes the classes very seriously, because they are aware of the importance of creating a positive relationship with the child. In the case of a foster parent, the relationship between him and the ward requires special care to be strong and durable.

We hope that the training will be fruitful, and that the families taking part in it will gain a lot of useful knowledge that they will be able to use and share with their loved ones.