In the past three years ICDI worked with our Belarusian partner Healthy Choice to strengthen the support for children and families that are affected by (mostly parental) alcohol abuse, a serious social problem in Belarus. The main objective was to keep these families together, strengthening the resilience and life skills of both the parents as well as the children.
In five regions several training sessions were organized for more than 1000 child care specialists and social workers. Through the project, child protection services and authorities moved from a hierarchical and judgmental approach towards parents to working with them on more equal terms and participatory. We encouraged them to use different strategies; identifying their strengths, mobilizing resources within the wider family and community and work with supportive organizations such as Alcohol Anonymous.
The methods introduced in this project have now been officially adopted by local services in the project regions.
As a result there already has been a significant reduction (30%!) of children being taken away from families and put in dreadful institutions. Many children who were previously put out of their biological families have now returned to their parents.
This project was funded by the EU.
Click on this link for an impression of project activities and the enthusiasm with which our partners engaged in the project.