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.