Child reunification refers to the process of returning children in temporary out-of-home care to their families of origin. Reunification is not a one-time event, but a process involving the healthy reintegration of the child into their original family with a goal of permanency. Often when families require temporary out-of-home care of their children, or have been erroneously told by doctors they cannot or should not parent their children, families are left feeling powerless in their choices of what is best for their child. Families that stay in contact with their children and have the opportunity to learn are fully capable of parenting their child and can choose to do so with the proper encouragement and support.
CHILD REUNIFICATION AND FAMILY TRAINING (CRAFT) PROGRAM
Children deserve to be raised by their biological family, when possible and if in their best interest. To that end, SOAR created the Child Reunification and Family Training (CRAFT) Program in February 2015. CRAFT has four primary components:
1. Construction of “family suites” at full residential facilities so families can visit their children in a clean and quiet environment. To date, space at Kharberd and Mari Izmirlyan Orphanages have been renovated.
2. The Gyumri Social Childcare Center (GSSC) and Community Development and Social Support Center (CDSSC) Sponsorship Programs. Part of our larger Sponsorship Program, the funds are used for child- and family-specific needs that, hopefully, reduce the likelihood of [re-]institutionalization.
3. Reunification Day. The Reunification Day brings together birth families and their children to spend time together. Families are educated about their child’s needs, progress, challenges and what resources are available to support the child’s return to the family.
4. SCOH (Service to Children in their Own Homes) Sponsorship Fund. Funds for 30 children at serious risk for re-institutionalization are used to provide home-based services.
Two residents of Nansen boarding school, Aida and Mane, are back with their families during the summer months. Because of the SOAR Reunification Program, Aida M. is going to be reunited with her family.
Last month the family had been provided with a washing machine and a vacuum vacuum cleaner. This will help the mother with household duties. Mane K. has been provided with an oven all of these thanks to the SOAR Sponsorship Fund.