News In Brief – Vol 1 (May 2020)

Lockdown might have confined us to our homes but somehow it hasn’t slowed us down – so far it’s been quite a year!

🀝 Look at what you achieved! πŸ€

We’re grateful for every single one of you because at very short notice, in last week’s #twopointsixchallenge you helped SFAC raise Β£1000 πŸ‘

Our staff members and supporters hopped 🐰 baked🧁 read πŸ“šwalked πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈπŸšΆβ€β™‚οΈand jogged πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ their way to ‘2.6’ and although Β£1000 might not seem like a huge amount in the fund-raising world we put it to good use immediately! Your generosity provided:

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦  a COVID19 emergency placement guide, written by SFAC’s social workers and therapists so that our partners can continue to safely place vulnerable children, even in the midst of the current crisis (or any other emergency situation)

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦  consultation sessions with organisations in Paraguay and Uganda, to improve decision-making in foster care.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦  3 sessions of mentoring support and training for a foster care organisation in rural Uganda who are adopting and adapting good quality social work practices in care planning which, in non social work speak, is everything we need to know about a child to take care of them well. 

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ 20 subsidised training sessions for organisations that cannot afford it. 

We’re determined that everyone can access our training and that lack of funds should never be a barrier. That’s why your support is so vital.

THANK YOU!

πŸ‡§πŸ‡· Invited to speak in Sao Paulo Brazil πŸ‡§πŸ‡· 

2020 began with a visit back to Brazil for SFAC. Mick has been travelling back and forth to Brazil for many years and has even been referred to as β€œthe father of foster care” by local SFAC partners.

On this occasion SFAC had been invited by 1 Million Home to discuss assistance in child welfare reform for vulnerable children and families. 

Mick also visited ABBA;  a foster care programme and long term partner of the charity. 

We celebrate Mick for being so committed to the work in this country that, twenty years ago, he learned Portugese to communicate effectively. Hats off to you Mick!

πŸ’»  And the world went online! πŸ’»

In April, Dan was invited to participate in the European World Without Orphans conference in Croatia. As the world went into lockdown, everything was transferred online and he found himself participating with 45 participants from 21 different countries for the very first WWO online conference on family care. 

It included lots of sharing ideas on how to best protect children during the current crisis as well as discussions about strategies and support for promoting and implementing alternative family care (foster care, kinship care, domestic adoption), instead of children’s homes, as the main option for children who cannot live with their parents. 

How appropriate for Dan to be involved in such a discussion whilst being temporarily locked down in his own childhood bedroom, (complete with stuffed toys,) in his own family home!

πŸŽ“ Caitlin Becomes a Protective Behaviours trainer for SFAC!  πŸŽ“

SFAC days come in all sorts of shapes and sizes πŸ˜ƒ This picture looks like Caitlin is working in a very cold house…. which she is πŸ₯Ά Home renovations whilst everything is on pause and there are two of you on Skype calls, means you dig out all your winter clothes and work in separate rooms!

What you can’t see, is that this is almost the final step for Caitlin in becoming a qualified Protective Behaviours trainer. Protective Behaviours underpins a lot of our therapeutic work with children, families and care providers and soon, Caitlin will be delivering PBs training courses in addition to all the ways we currently use it in our practice βœ…

One thing you can say about this team is that we’re willing to work wherever and whenever to get the job done…. although fingers crossed 🀞 it won’t mean freezing conditions and isolation forever! 

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Making an author appearance in Virginia USA! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

An ongoing part of SFAC’s work is advocacy, and Mick had an incredible opportunity to talk about caring for vulnerable children when he was asked to talk about his book; “Children Belong in Families” at a Virginia-based bookclub over SKYPE!

After two hours of Q&A, drawing on his social work practise and international experience Mick had answered as much as there was time for, and debunked several myths! 

If you would like to hear more from Mick or any one of the SFAC team, in your bookclub, small group or in leadership training, you can email info@sfac.org.uk

If you would like to add a copy of Children Belong In Families to your quarantine reading you can go to www.childrenbelonginfamilies.net and pick one up today


βœ’οΈ Check out the Blog βœ’οΈ

The past few weeks have given us time to collect our thoughts! We’ve been writing for the blog about things which affect people, somewhere in the world, every day. Some of us are fortunate enough to be and feel safe all the time and the sudden absence of that during COVID-19 brings into sharp focus what life can be like for millions of people in their daily lives. You can read here about:

Coping Strategies – What they are and how they work

Three practical science-based coping strategies

Being and Feeling Safe 

Assessing Emergency Placements

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ύ Teyhu Renda πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ύ

Dan has been working with Teyhu Renda, a Paraguayan charity wanting to develop a foster care and adoption framework and training materials. As with many of SFAC’s partners, the initial response to an enquiry involves really getting to know and understand them, and then plotting a practical course towards achieving the safe care and protection of vulnerable children in their community, wherever that is. This is just the beginning of what we hope will be another encouraging leap forward for Paraguay’s children.