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Speakers

Rene de Bot (The Netherlands)
foster parent, also was director of the Rotterdam Foster Care Center. He was involved in new legislation and promotion campaigns around foster care. In 2005 het started “knowledge factory” and is now working as a youth care consultant in Balkan- and Eastern Europe countries.

Topic for the presentation: How many parents a child can have

Abstract:
In the Netherlands very often grandparents are the kinship carers. We hear different opinions about the importance of birth parents in the life of a foster child.
Can they stop being the father or mother: can they start a “new life”? How is it possible that even after serious neglect and abuse children continue to be fathful to the birth parent?
Who will make decisions a about choice of the new school, haircut, permission to smoke, religion, serious medical interventions?
Complicated items for all foster parents, but extra where the mother of your foster child is your own daughter…

Topic for the Workshop: Kinship care in the Netherlands

Abstract:
About 50 % of the Dutch foster children live in a family that already was familiair for them before they had to leave their parents.

Many children’s homes have been closed and new methodology was developed to strenghten the parents and to avoid outplacment. “good enough parents” is new jargon. Outplacement is the last  option. That means that once the child is removed from the parents, the (behavior) problems can be very serious.

In some countries they say that grand parents cannot be the solution, because they are part of the problem. And during trainings abroad I heard people say “we are real foster parents”, indicating that kinship care is second choice.

Željka Burgund (Serbia)
experienced social worker, manager in child/youth care aria, trainer and consultant, completed academic studies at the University of Belgrade, 1981. Actually, working as a Head of office/ National telephone counseling services Serbia. Founder and President of Association of Professionals for Children and Family support “FICE Serbia”2003, Executive Director and Founder of the Association “In the Family Circle “-2012, NGO dedicated in organizing FGC. Main Board member of “FICE Europe” Foundation ”SOS Children Villages Serbia”, as well as national representative in “FICE International”. Responsible, as Project manager, for implementation of PRIDE Model of Practice in Serbia in period from 2007 to 2009. Engaged as a national  and international PRIDE master trainer, in Serbia and several countries in the region to transfer the knowledge and promote the values and quality standards of the PRIDE program in order to raise the competencies of experts in alternative care and quality of care for children and families in need.

Topic: Balcan Countries and a Kinship Care

Abstract:
Introduction
Balkan countries have a tradition of caring for children of relatives since ancient times, especially in exceptional situations: death of parents, during the wars, natural disasters and family tragedies. For centuries, that care has been an “unwritten law”, but as a formal care has been recognized in the twentieth century, with the development of a modern system of social protection and childcare. After 2000 these three countries Serbia, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina after the achieving independence of former Yugoslavia and deinstitutionalizing the system of protection children without parental care, began the process of formalizing kinship care into a legal framework. So far, the legal framework of kinship care in these three Balkan countries has many commonalities, but also its specifics.

Republic Serbia
After 2000, in Serbia, various reforms of social welfare included alternative care, were established. A system of selection, training and licensing of foster-families is fully operational. Kinship care was recognized as important resource in tradition of caring and incorporated in foster care system. Currently, there are two legal institutes of kinship care in Serbia. Guardianship of relatives of children through the care and protection in it’s own family and kinship/foster care of relatives’ children. The key difference between these two forms of protection is in the legal and financial aspect as well as way of monitoring their roles. According to the data from the end of 2019 were seven regional centers for foster care and adoption, and they provide services for somewhat less than 2/3 children on foster and kinship care, while others are monitored only by CSW’s (Zegarac, 2017). The rights of children in kinship care are equated with the rights of children in foster care, primarily in providing compensation to families through financial support, while there is a lack of financial support to the closest relatives as kinship families for their engagement, unlike foster families for their involvement modest, but still paid. At the end of 2019, there were 5.350 children in foster families in Serbia. The share of children in foster care has been stable at around 27% for the last 5 years. To this number should be added 1061 children in guardian families’ accommodation without compensation. Among the relatives who take care of children without parental care, more than half are grandparents. All presented data do not include Kosovo.

Tamara Borisavljevic (Serbia)
psychologist by profession, with specialization in family mediation,  have worked in  social care for 30 years. Experienced trainer and consultant in child and youth care aria. From 2008. working as a supervisor in Center for Foster Care and Adoption Belgrade, conducting assessment and education for potential foster parents, education of active foster families and engaged as a supervisor in the team for monitoring and support.  Tamara has participated in creating  and realizing educational programs for professionals and foster families , supported by UNICEF,   “Save  the Children “, “ Centre for Children Rights” and  Serbian Ministry of  Labor and Social Work. Engaged as a national and international PRIDE master trainer, in Serbia and several countries in the region to transfer the knowledge and promote the values and quality standards of the PRIDE program in order to raise the competencies of experts in this field and quality of care for children and families in need.

Topic: Balcan Countries and a Kinship Care

Abstract:
Introduction
Balkan countries have a tradition of caring for children of relatives since ancient times, especially in exceptional situations: death of parents, during the wars, natural disasters and family tragedies. For centuries, that care has been an “unwritten law”, but as a formal care has been recognized in the twentieth century, with the development of a modern system of social protection and childcare. After 2000 these three countries Serbia, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina after the achieving independence of former Yugoslavia and deinstitutionalizing the system of protection children without parental care, began the process of formalizing kinship care into a legal framework. So far, the legal framework of kinship care in these three Balkan countries has many commonalities, but also its specifics.

Republic Serbia
After 2000, in Serbia, various reforms of social welfare included alternative care, were established. A system of selection, training and licensing of foster-families is fully operational. Kinship care was recognized as important resource in tradition of caring and incorporated in foster care system. Currently, there are two legal institutes of kinship care in Serbia. Guardianship of relatives of children through the care and protection in it’s own family and kinship/foster care of relatives’ children. The key difference between these two forms of protection is in the legal and financial aspect as well as way of monitoring their roles. According to the data from the end of 2019 were seven regional centers for foster care and adoption, and they provide services for somewhat less than 2/3 children on foster and kinship care, while others are monitored only by CSW’s (Zegarac, 2017). The rights of children in kinship care are equated with the rights of children in foster care, primarily in providing compensation to families through financial support, while there is a lack of financial support to the closest relatives as kinship families for their engagement, unlike foster families for their involvement modest, but still paid. At the end of 2019, there were 5.350 children in foster families in Serbia. The share of children in foster care has been stable at around 27% for the last 5 years. To this number should be added 1061 children in guardian families’ accommodation without compensation. Among the relatives who take care of children without parental care, more than half are grandparents. All presented data do not include Kosovo.

Edmira Aščić (Bosna and Hercegovina)
social worker, Pride Master trainer, completed academic studies at University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Political Sciences, department for Social Work, 2004. She has worked with families and children at risk, victims of domestic violence and children without parental care. Since 2011 actively involved and coordinated reform process in social and child protection in BiH. Participated in developing of Foster care law in Federation BiH and responsible for implementation of PRIDE model of education 2017 – 2021. One of the founder of national PRIDE trainer Association in Federation BiH, and promoter of PRIDE model national wide. Implemented projects funded by EU, UNICEF BiH, USAID, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since 2017 working in SOS Childrens Villages BiH, as project manager in the area of child and foster care.

Topic: Balcan Countries and a Kinship Care

Abstract:
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
From 1995 Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) is consisting from two entites and a district:                                 1. Administrative unit „Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina“ (FBiH, approx. 51% of the area), divided into 10 cantons and 79 municipalites. These cantons have their own goverment, ministries and authorities. 2. Administrative unit „Republic Srpska“ (RS, about 49% of the area) with a centrailizied goverment and 62 municipalities. 3. District Brcko, a sepparate district with its own goverment and leadership. Every administrative unit has its own law framworks for social and child protection. In Federation B&H placement in kinship families from 1999 – 2017 was regulated within Social protection law as a placement in „Another family“, without state support – kinship families did not had right on any material benefits (placement allowance). 2017 in Federation BiH was adopted Foster care law which recognize role and work of kinship families as foster families and placement allowance, but the new Law still does not defines and recognize allowance for work of kinship foster carer. There is also not established adequated data base and evidence of number of children in foster care, as well number of foster carers (kinship or foster families).

Mario Janchev (North Macedonia)
bachelor degree in social work, Specialization studies in the field of “Intercultural communication and social work and conflict transformation by peaceful means”. Long-term experience in alternative childcare and prevention of child abandonment, knowledge and practice in implementation of Case Management methodology in social work for 11 years, competences for institutional development & organizational strengthening with certificate from IDOS – Institutional Development & Organizational Strengthening MDF Netherlands – training and consultancy. He is an advocate and take significant participation in the social reforms in the country. Involved in legislation and secondary legislation improvements. He was implemented a PRIDE model of practice for recruitment, education and support of the foster families in the country. He became PRIDE master trainer in the country. As an expert, he was involved in development of quality foster care standards. He took a part in the assessment of the social protection system in the country. Mario was an initiator of the project “Social contraction till sustainability” that develop framework for implementation of social contracting system. As an active contributor in De-I strategy he has a significant influence in the outcome for the De-I quality strategy documents. He has contributed in development of transformation plans, working programme of the small group homes as a transformation outcome, staffing standards and legislation utilisation. As a manager of the project for building capacities of the foster care system in RNM, in partnership with UNICEF, he has contributed in implementation of foster care champagnes and motivation and recruitment of foster families.

Topic: Balcan Countries and a Kinship Care

Abstract:
Republic North Macedonia
In R.N Macedonia until March 2021, 91-kinship families with 119 children are registered. Kinship families are present in 21 cities in the country. Placement in a foster family as a form of protection in R.N Macedonia has existed since 1961. In the period from 1995 to 2005, placement kinship families equated with placement at that time in so-called “Another family”. From 2005 to 2019, this practice ceases and the kinship families lose the status of formal caregivers and through granting custody they switch to informal care without state support. With the new law on social protection in 2019, kinship families acquire formal status within the social protection system and their work equated with foster families.

Michaela Brunclíková (Slovakia)
as a social worker she has been working in the social field in the Slovak Republic as a social worker for 21 years. Smile as a gift; is dedicated to working with vulnerable families, accompanying and preparing surrogate families; she is PRIDE trainer and also a coordinator of FGC (Family Group Conferences).

Topic: It is hard to manage without accompanying

Abstract:
Every family sometimes needs support, and accompaniment is especially important in Kinship care. We would like to share our experience in this area. How Kinship care givers get support and at the same time about the possibilities of this support and assistance. An essential component of the work is also the use of the PRIDE program, other ways of working and their interconnection. We will also focus on the specifics of the current pandemic situation and its impact, specifically on Kinship care in Slovakia.

 

Veronika Prokopová (Slovakia)
worked in NGO Usmev ako dar (A smile as a gift) with vulnerable families and also as PRIDE trainer she was envolved in foster trainings and further support of foster and adoptive families for more than 12 years.  She is a supervisor and currently works as a psychologist in the department of child psychiatry.

Topic: It is hard to manage without accompanying

Abstract:
Every family sometimes needs support, and accompaniment is especially important in Kinship care. We would like to share our experience in this area. How Kinship care givers get support and at the same time about the possibilities of this support and assistance. An essential component of the work is also the use of the PRIDE program, other ways of working and their interconnection. We will also focus on the specifics of the current pandemic situation and its impact, specifically on Kinship care in Slovakia.

 

Maria Herczog (Hungary)
Dr. (habil) Maria Herczog Ph.D, sociologist, senior policy analyst at Institute for Human Services, Columbus, Ohio since June 2018, a visiting senior lecturer at  ELTE Budapest University Law Faculty post graduate courses, chair of the Family Child Youth Association in Budapest, Hungary. She has been doing research on child welfare, child protection and on child rights, family matters for more than 30 years, author of several books, book chapters and journal articles. She has been teaching child welfare and protection at different university courses since 1983. Maria is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and in the media. Maria was a a member of the of the UNCRC Committee between 2007-2015 and president of Eurochild 2009-2015. She has been the president of the Executive Committee of Child Rights Connect since 2019. Dr. Herczog has been working with UNICEF, Council of Europe, WHO as a temporary scientific expert for many years.

Topic for the conference: Kinship care around the world

Abstract:
Kinship care is an expression to describe “Family-based care within the child’s extended family or with close friends of the family known to the child, whether formal or informal in nature.”  (UN Guidelines on Alternative Care for Children).
In most of the countries there is word, expression for kinship care, it is widely used in its original form as it is more complex than family links or relationships.
Anthropologists define kinship as the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies.
Approximately one in ten children around the world live in kinship care. Rates vary greatly between and within regions. Informal kinship care is more common than formal, and children are more likely to be placed with grandparents than other relatives.

The reasons for use of kinship care  are as follows and are often interrelated:

  • Social – economic deprivation
  • lack of access to services
  • parental ill health and death
  • internal migration, emigration, or lack of presence for other reasons
  • natural disasters, conflicts and instability
  • cultural beliefs
  • child protection intervention

In several countries kinship care is often used because of parental abuse or neglect, and has been widely recommended in child protection practices more and more. In lower income countries, kinship care is related to migration, lack of access to services, and socio-economic deprivation. It also depends on the philosophy, tradition and opportunities of child welfare and protection policies and practices.
At the global level, both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children recognise the need to support children to grow up within their own families. The preamble to the CRC states that:
“The child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.”
Article 5 of the CRC describes the roles and responsibilities of parents to promote children’s rights and recognizes, that extended family or community members may also be caregivers.
Article 3 of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children states that:
“The family being the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth, well-being and protection of children, efforts should primarily be directed to enabling the child to remain in or return to the care of his/her parents, or when appropriate, other close family members. The State should ensure that families have access to forms of support in the caregiving role.”
Despite the growing awareness and popularity of kinship care, there are several risks related to the placement of children, especially in case kinship care takers and children do not get the needed support.
The wellbeing of children in kinship care is influenced by a number of factors besides the need for assessment, preparation and ongoing support: the relatedness and relationship and to the caregivers, the nature and frequency of contact with parents, the reasons for placement, the social norms and acceptance around kinship care.
It may seem to be easier and cheaper to place children in kinship care than in foster care or in children’s homes and referring to the advantages of family type, known relationships or environment based care. In all cases the best interests principle have to be taken into consideration based on individual care plans and providing high quality services to the children and the caretakers as well as it is the most cost effective and efficient way of ensuring the optimal development and joyful life of children

Zdeněk Moldrzyk (Czechia)
has been working in the field of social work for more than 30 years. He worked with children with mental disabilities, organized social and health care at the district and regional level. He has been working with the family and in foster care since 2007. He has also worked in a number of projects at the international level (HAPIEE – health status of the population, foster care in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, etc.). From 2007 to 2020 he was head manager of the Center for psychological help. The organization operates in the field of individual, family, partner counseling, assessment and pre-service training of adoptive and foter parents, accompanying foster families. He is a promoter of the PRIDE Model of Practice in Czech Republic,  PRIDE Model of Practice Master Trainer.

Topic for the conference: Needs of Kindship caregivers, identification of their views, perceptions and experiences

Abstract:
With significant financial support from the Sirius Foundation the project to support Kindship care has been implemented since 2019. The main idea of ​​the project is to focus on the needs of Kindship caregivers, to identify their views, perceptions and experiences. Kindship care is very important in system of care for vulnerable children in the Czech Republic, 2/3 of foster parents are actually  relatives.
In the first phase of the project – a research survey – a qualitative survey was conducted, followed by a quantitative research. The main goal was to identify and describe needs of Kindship caregivers.
The outputs from this stage of the project brought us to some expected facts and characteristics, as well as very interesting findings of what Kindship caregivers consider the most burning issues, what kind of support they would need and how they see their care by themselves.
The project team is currently working on the preparation of materials and proposals for support procedures to help Kindship caregivers in their difficult situation.

 

Elin Margrethe Olsen (Norway)
has been working with children,youth and families in the Norwegiansocial welfare system since 2004. During this timeshe has completed two master degreesconcerning relational/attachment aspects in fostercare, and family therapeutic interventions.She has also for several years led a trauma informedcare project, working with children andyouth in foster care and institution. Elin has workedwith guidance, counseling and educationof foster parents. She is currently working for theNational Center for Excellence in FosterCare Training (Bufetat).

Topic: The Norwegian status on Kindship training: Present and future program

Abstract:
Many of our families are in need of the competencyto understand and maneuver thecomplex landscape that kinship care may involve. Inthe Norwegian training and recruitmentprograms we focus on the unique challenges and enrichmentrelated to receiving a childfrom one’s family or close network. Together withprofessional expertise, we address thefamily’s need to share experiences, to be understood,and to be recognized in their currentsituation. We have been and still are, in developmentalwork in relation to updating theknowledge foundation for kindship families as wellas modernizing and making our trainingplatform more flexible!
Their contribution is developed in cooperation withSenior PRIDE-leaders Anne-GretheHanssen and Svein Bergstad.

Elizabeth Elton (Norway)
has been working with at riskchildren in the Norwegian socialwelfare system for 25 years. Her experience includesbeing part of the support system ofState-supported emergency foster homes and fosterhomes for children with special needsas a trainer and counsellor, as well as working withscreening to- be- adoptive parents andrecruiting, training and givingguidance to FosterCarers. She is currently working as a senioradviser for the National Center for Excellence inFoster care Training (Bufetat), developingtraining and recruitment programs for Foster Carersin Norway.

Topic: The Norwegian status on Kindship training: Present and future program

Abstract:
Many of our families are in need of the competencyto understand and maneuver thecomplex landscape that kinship care may involve. Inthe Norwegian training and recruitmentprograms we focus on the unique challenges and enrichmentrelated to receiving a childfrom one’s family or close network. Together withprofessional expertise, we address thefamily’s need to share experiences, to be understood,and to be recognized in their currentsituation. We have been and still are, in developmentalwork in relation to updating theknowledge foundation for kindship families as wellas modernizing and making our trainingplatform more flexible!
Their contribution is developed in cooperation withSenior PRIDE-leaders Anne-GretheHanssen and Svein Bergstad.

Rob van Pagée (Netherlands)
is social worker, foster care specialist and founder of the ‘Eigen Kracht Centrale’ (EKC – 2002), the implementation organization of Family Group Conference in The Netherlands. Many thousands FGCs are held and numerous research proves the important role of FGC in building a society based on participation and mutual self-reliance of citizens.  Van Pagée is a PRIDE Model of Practice Master Trainer and one of the founders of the European Network for FGC and instrumental in the introduction of FGC to European countries and the World.

Topic for the conference: Finding a grandmother is not enough

Abstract:
When Child Protection after an inquiry concludes that it is not safe for children to stay in a their family, out of home placements is an option. To prevent from this Child Protection search first for a family member to take care of the children. New insights show that this is not enough.
Again…: When a problem occurs in a Family, Child Protection should first widen the circle around the family with other family members and friends and ask for a family-group meeting about the problems that arose. An independent community coordinator – fellow citizen – will facilitate that process. In this family-group meeting the participants discuss their needs and create  together a plan for a solution. A plan made this way is usually better for the children ánd grandmother.
This activating, democratic (everybody a voice), citizens decision making approach can be used in almost all situations when people needs a plan or a strategy. Cultural background does not matter when it is about making a plan in one’s own circle. Research show citizens appreciate this process and the plan the plan more resilient. Moreover, they take responsibility for matters that otherwise would have been ignored or disregarded. More heads, hands and hearts and social inclusion becomes stronger in the end.

Jaana Pynnönen (Finland)
social worker, licenciate of social studies, pre-doktoral degree.
Worked in Child protection for over 35 years. Also worked for muncipalities and other organizations. Currently working as a development manager at national child welfare organization Pesäpuu.
I have trained PRIDE-trainers for 10 years. Together whit collagues and experience experts, I develop working methods and tools for child protection. I train professionals on how to use these methods and tools.
I have written guides for training and supporting kinship careers. I have studied how could we improve mutual assessment in PRIDE-training. Client`s participation is Important to me in child protection work.

Topic for the conference: The Child in Focus – model of  trainning and support in Finland

Situation in Finland
On 31 December 2019, 9 547 children were in care on the last day of the year, of whom more than half (57%) was in family care.
One in seven (765) of children placed in family care were placed in families with relatives or close relatives.
Municipalities had a commission agreement with 4 871 families in 2019. Of these, 979 families (20.1%) was a family close to or related to the child . According to the Child Welfare Act , foster care must be arranged primarily in family care.

Pesäpuu ry is a national child welfare organization established in 1998. We are a non-profit organization supported by the Veikkaus.
Pesäpuu works to improve the situation of children who are clients of child welfare services and to strengthen the children’s involvement. Our vision is that every child placed in care is safe, participating and valuable.
Pesäpuu’s dream is that every child and young person who is a client of child welfare would take an active part in their own lives and in the decisions that concerns them. Pesäpuu wants to make sure that each adult who is part of the life of a child or young person is prepared for their role as a person who supports, encourages and motivates the child.
The aim of the development work in Pesäpuu is the realisation of children’s participation and rights in child welfare. We develop concrete methods and tools for the workers who meet children and families. Children, families, workers and schools that are involved in child welfare takes also part in the development work. Pesäpuu is maintaining and developing the PRIDE-program in order to meet the diverse needs of today’s foster care.
Pesäpuu also brings together methods developed elsewhere and cooperates with developers and researchers in the field. We invite representatives from the private and organizational sectors as well as from municipalities and the state to work with us. This allows us to share and disseminate the good practices.

PRIDE-program and Kinship care
We have used PRIDE-program here in Finland since 1995. Our model to training and support kinshipcareers baced on PRIDE. The developing work together with children and families has given us some very important information. Our aim is that children, parents and important persons around children are participating when we are making assessment and providing training.

Marcus Stallworth (USA)
Director of Training and Implementation, Child Welfare League of America, where he provides training, curriculum development, and consultation services for foster care agencies across USA. He is also the co-owner of Welcome 2 Reality, LLC, which focuses on providing media literacy and education for students and parents regarding social media and technology. Stallworth and his team are credited for getting Public Act 17-67 passed into law in Connecticut, mandating steps be taken to provide social media literacy education in all public schools. He currently teaches a self-created elective entitled: Social Media: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly at the University of Bridgeport. He has taught courses at Post University, the University of Connecticut, and is currently teaching in the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in Manhattan. Marcus serves on the Board of Directors of the National Foster Parent Association and plays a leadership role in Connecticut’s Fatherhood Engagement Leadership Team (FELT). He is also a member of Media Literacy Now’s national advisory council, which provides educators with advocacy and resources on media literacy education in schools.

Topic: InstruMENtal- Recognizing the importance of the Male role in Child Welfare

Abstract:
Across the globe, men play important roles in protecting and nurturing children. This can be as a birth father, step parent, resource, adoptive, or kinship caregiver as well. This would also include males in the child welfare workforce. Based on our findings, many of our male colleagues believe they are often underutilized and overlooked. In this workshop, we will discuss ways we can make them more involved in decision making, the assessment process, and providing (and receiving) support.

Lucie Salačová (Czechia)
she has Master degree in Social Work from Charles University in Prague. Its main field is social work and crisis intervention. He has been working in the social field, especially in the non-profit sector, for 21 years.
She currently works as a guide for children and families undergoing a difficult life change, as well as working with several organizations focusing on foster or kinship care. She has worked as a lecturer in crisis intervention education 16 years. She is PRIDE trainer.

Topic: Training of Kinship caregivers at the beginning of their career

Abstract:
Adoptive or foster parents must go through pre-service training before adoption or foster care is mediated by a regional authority in the Czech Republic.
The child is usually entrusted to kinship care without any training of the kinship caregivers. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs supported a programme for training those relatives according to the principles of PRIDE in 2019.
The training of these kinship caregivers is also carried out online  in 2021.
At the workshop you will learn about the experience with this type of training and there will also be an opportunity to try out some of the tools used.

Markéta Švejdová Jandová (Czechia)
she has Master degree in Social Work from Charles University in Prague.
She worked as a social worker at the Psychiatric clinic of the Psychiatric Centre in Prague and also at the National Institute of Mental Health.
She is PRIDE trainer, participates on the implementation of PRIDE in the Czech Republic. She is engaged in the training of foster parents.
She with her husband take care of four children, some of them are in foster care.

Topic: Training of Kinship caregivers at the beginning of their career

Abstract:
Adoptive or foster parents must go through pre-service training before adoption or foster care is mediated by a regional authority in the Czech Republic.
The child is usually entrusted to kinship care without any training of the kinship caregivers. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs supported a programme for training those relatives according to the principles of PRIDE in 2019.
The training of these kinship caregivers is also carried out online  in 2021.
At the workshop you will learn about the experience with this type of training and there will also be an opportunity to try out some of the tools used.

Eshele Williams (USA)
has a B.A. from California State University, Long Beach in Human Development, a M.A. from Pacific Oaks College in Marriage Family Child Counseling and a PsyD. from Phillips Graduate University. As a Dr. of Psychology in Organizational Management and Consulting and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist she has dedicated her career to supporting children, families and organizations in multiple capacities. Her work in the child welfare field includes experience as a professor, researcher, curriculum developer, writer, parenting program coordinator, health team coordinator for children with the chronic illness (Sickle Cell disease), public speaker, trainer/educator and adoption support program project coordinator.
As an Independent Consultant, Trainer, Educator, and Psychotherapist working in the field of social services Dr. Williams provides support, education, and training on multiple subject areas that impact children, families, and organizations. Engagements with Dr. Williams will assist with Embracing Self Healing Empathy Love & Empowerment in life, work, and organizations.
Dr. Williams is currently faculty at Pacific Oaks College in the School of Child and Family Psychology, has served as the Clinical Director of an Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation facility creating curriculum and overseeing day to day operations. Clinical Coordinator of a Transition Age Youth program at Hillsides in Pasadena, Project Coordinator of Adoption Promotion and Support Services at Children’s Bureau in Los Angeles and as the Project Coordinator of Project Fatherhood at D’Veal Family and Youth Services in Pasadena. She is experienced as a therapist, providing direct services, support and education to children and families. She also supervised and trained staff who provided specialized education services for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents along the foster care to adoption continuum.
She possesses extensive knowledge and skill in conducting interviews and training with children, families, and professionals across the country and internationally. She is a current Board of Directors member of the National Foster Parent Association and Advisory Board Member of Pacific Oaks College School of Child and Family Psychology. She is trained in implementing the Child Welfare League of America’s (CWLA) PRIDE Model of Practice and the New Generation PRIDE Model of Practice to develop and support resource parents as team members in child protection, and in the CWLA Kinship Care – Traditions of Caring and Collaborating Model of Practice. She has trained Kinship caregivers in the Kinship Education Partnership and Support program (KEPS) in collaboration with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services Kinship Division.
Eshele Williams has conducted extensive research, has written and trains on the Impact of Fostering on Birth Children, Previously Adopted Children and Kinship Children of Foster, Kinship, and Adoptive Parents. Her personal history, research and studies have informed the body of information. Dr. Williams brings a unique perspective as the birth child of kinship, foster, and adoptive parents for almost 30 years and having been raised for a portion of her life by her grandmother in informal kinship care. In addition, she has written children’s books that help parents initiate and explore conversations with their birth children in preparation of the families’ foster care, kinship and adoption experience. She is a dedicated and passionate advocate for children and families and through her work she creates lasting impact that encourages people to look at the pertinent issues that face children and families impacted by foster care, adoption, and kinship care.

Topic for the conference: Traditions of Caring and Collaborating: A Trauma Informed Model of Practice for Engaging, Assessing, and Supporting Kinship Caregivers​

Abstract:
Traditions of Caring and Collaborating model of practice provides a shared vision, mission, objectives, values, strengths-based language, and best practice strategies to achieve outcomes in the best interests of kinship families. In this workshop the presenter will identify and provide examples of nine major issues of concern (including legal, health/mental health, child behavior, family relationships, and more). Demonstrate the five essential competencies including addressing the dynamics of attachment versus authority, and demographic and cultural diversity. Apply the five competencies to the phases of service delivery and share strategies that support the transfer of skills from training to practice that are required when collaborating with kinship caregivers.

Jana Ženíšková
social worker, has been working in services for over 30 years. A third of her professional life she worked with users of addictive substances and after 2/3 in services for vulnerable families with children in need. She has been actively involved in the development of programs for drug addicts in the non-profit sector, especially in the introduction of assistance to drug users in prisons. She received the Czech Streetwork Association Award for this activity. She worked as an external university teacher, now she continues as a lecturer, methodologist and supervisor. For the past 10 years, as part of her work in Amalthea (NGO), she has been working with colleagues to develop ways of working and supporting biological families so that children can grow up and be happy with them.

Topic for the conference: Support services for vulnerable families with children in need in the Czech Republic

Abstract:
Social work in Czech Republic has undergone a number of changes, influenced mainly by political settings. More than 30 years ago, services for families were not developed, the problems were solved mainly by placing children outside the family. Social work was like Cinderella among other profesional fields. We did not have enough experts or information. The family was an object, it didn’t matter much what its members wanted and what was best for them. This situation has changed significantly in recent decades, but in some areas the transformation to modern social services is not completed. We will look back to the past and to what part of the journey we went when working with vulnerable families with children in need in our presentation. We will summarize what approaches are close to us, what we have learned from foreign colleagues and also what we miss the most. We will share with the dilemmas we encounter in everyday practice and we will be happy to be inspired.