II Interregional seminar of the Association of Organizations Working in the Sphere of Newborns Abandonments Prevention took place in Novosibirsk from 14 to 16 of May.
Organizers of the meeting were the Association of Organizations Working in the Sphere of Newborns Abandonment Prevention, Charitable Foundation of Social Orphanhood Prevention, with the support of Public Chamber of Russian Federation (Moscow), Ministry of Social Development of Novosibirsk Region, Charitable Foundation “Sunny City” (Novosibirsk), NGOO “Non-state center of support to families and children “Together”( Novosibirsk).
Representatives of 14 regions of Russia and CIS took part in the event. They were from: Novosibirsk region, Tyumen region, Volgograd region, Kaluga region, Tomsk region, Tambov region, Kirov region, Penza region, Irkutsk region, Sverdlovsk region, Zabaikalsky krai, Buryatiya Republic (city Ulan-Ude), Tatarstan Republic (city Kazan) and Ukraine (Donetsk).
On the first day a round table was organized with the participation of the deputy minister of social development of Novosibirsk region, L.M. Zyabreva. During the discussion participants studied and analyzed the factors that hamper effective work in direction of the newborns abandonments prevention, and tried to find ways to eliminate them.
One of the most interesting discussions was on the topic of financing programs on abandonments prevention in cases when the executives were non-profit organizations. On the opinion of activists from Novosibirsk, who had been working with maternity homes on abandonments prevention on the basis of a municipal contract for 4 years, Russian legislation does not accommodate the financing of such NGO programs by the state. This thought was supported by the deputy minister of social development of Novosibirsk region, L.M. Zyabreva: “Unfortunately, taking into account the specificity of the law #94, we can’t use it effectively, because its mechanisms do not imply the quality of the rendered services, which is fundamentally important for us. And that’s why it’s more logical to speak about subsidies to non-profit organizations. But, unfortunately, during the year to which a subsidy is given the full volume of services can’t be rendered, it’s necessary to - spread the subsidy to 2 or 3 years”.
One more topic touched during discussion is the development of the infrastructure of services. One of the necessary conditions for the successful work on newborns abandonments prevention is the availability of social hotels and shelters for mothers with newborn babies. In Novosibirsk this practice is successfully implemented on the basis of shelters “Rainbow” and “Karitas”, in maternity abode “Dove”. However there are regions which can’t boast of such a practice. In some regions there aren’t any opportunities for the temporary living of a woman with a child. The following issues were also raised during the discussion: efficiency of baby-boxes in Russia, legislative specifics that regulate the sphere of childhood protection, the need of permanent education and professionalization of specialists.
The results of the discussion were fixed in a resolution, which would lie in the base of a letter-address to the Public Chamber of RF (Commission on Social Policy, Employment Relationships and Life Quality), the State Duma of RF (Committee on the Questions of Family and Childhood).
The two next days were devoted to teaching seminars for specialists, working in the sphere of the newborns abandonments prevention. During the seminar several blocks were studied: techniques of work with abandonment, conducting the first meeting, techniques of successful communication, techniques of work with the resistance of a client, techniques of planning work with a case.
The seminar was filled with trainings, during which participants could get practical skills and put themselves in the place of a social worker or of a woman, who decided to abandon her child. This format of the seminar helped participants to form a deeper understanding of the nature of the problem of behavioral mechanisms and taught them the professional attitude to the situation. The issue of professional values and the need for professional education of specialists was risen during the seminar not once. At the end of the seminar a decision was made that the work on methodological manuals should be continued, and that the forum on the website of the Association should be set up as a platform, where specialists could communicate in the online mode, get supervisions and support.
The next interregional meeting of the Association of Organizations Working in the Sphere of Newborns Abandonments Prevention is scheduled to take place in 6 months. The region of the meeting will be specified later. The Association is open to every kind of collaboration: all interested regions, having the experience of work with newborns abandonments or just planning to set up such activity, are invited. Detailed information about joining the Association is on the official website of the organization.