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Cyprus

NGO gives progress report on fostering programme

A total of 76 unaccompanied minors were placed with foster families last year, Hope for Children (HFC) CRC Policy Centre said in a statement on Friday.

The non-governmental organisation has been running a foster programme for children since December 2016 under the legal care of the head of the social welfare services.

The aim of this programme, funded through the state grants scheme, is to arrange the placement of unaccompanied children with foster parents improve the reception conditions and services provided for them.

From the beginning of the programme to-date, 99 prospective foster families have been initially evaluated, the statement said. A series of training sessions took place, which included the preparation of prospective foster parents and helping them make the decision to foster. The training was done through experiential workshops.

Foster parents have the opportunity to actively contribute in an essential way by raising children from vulnerable population groups in need, HFC said. Foster programmes, it said, are an alternative form of childcare which provide the possibility of a family life for children who cannot be with their biological parents.

“Offering love and practical and meaningful help to these children is very important as through this, (foster) parents leave a useful ‘footprint’ on their lives,” HFC said.

HFC said that as well as training foster parents it is also, in cooperation with the state social welfare services, monitoring the psychosocial development and adaptation of the minors within the foster families until they reach adulthood.

The organisation said it is also providing round-the-clock support services for foster parents in cases of emergency.

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