Started working with ABBA in 2005
Before SFAC existed Mick met Thomas, then Director of Abba in 1998 and talked about Foster Care. They lost all contact until unexpectedly meeting again at a conference in 2005 when Thomas said, I’ve been trying to locate you Mick, we need to know more about Foster Care!
SFAC travelled to Brazil almost annually to promote the concept of Foster Care. With the assistance of Delton, a qualified social worker from the USA who had taken over ABBA’s child care projects, we carried out many visits to local child care judges and their technical team working on child care cases.
We also gave presentations in various universities to social work and psychology students on why children should be in families and not institutions.
SFAC has been able to advocate, train and provide consultation during visits and via Skype or email with ABBA to help them develop their Foster Care programme and promote the concept amongst local government circles.
ABBA are now registered with their local government as a pioneer Foster Care provider and recently awarded a government grant to develop the programme. The placement of children into foster carers from the government courts with judicial approval is slowly beginning to happen. ABBA have in place a well developed system, training and assessment process that is culturally relevant yet based on the many years of experience of Foster Care in the UK.
ABBA continue to run a couple of residential facilities which will be necessary while the foster care programmes are still increasing their capacity to receive more children.
Due to SFAC’s longstanding involvement in Brazil with ABBA and other organisations, in 2014 we were invited to be an active participant in a Latin American International Conference on Foster Care. Out of that conference came invitations to work in other Brazilian States, Santa Caterina and Matto Grosso do Sul with judges, psychologists and social work teams.