Heart of the Family, Romania. Written by Anna Butterworth
In my last blog about visiting our school in Ayensuako, Ghana I wrote about being in the heart of the community. Last week I visited our Safe Homes project in Tinca, Romania and was irrevocably taken into the heart of the family. Our two purpose built houses in Tinca are home to two Romanian families who foster the children in our care. As someone who is well acquainted with the UK care system through in a professional capacity, my notions of what a ‘care system’ would look like were, I believed, well informed.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There were no biological barriers or limits to the relationship between the children in the Safe Homes and their parents. These children are unequivocally the beating heart of the family with no room left for ‘corporate parenting’ in any capacity in and amongst the normalcy of family life. This extends to the relationship between the children and their siblings; common place were teasing, laughing and playing together. Their infectious vivaciousness has no space for inhibition and I quickly found myself dancing and singing along also.
These relationships are nurtured by our team of outstanding social workers and project managers. Their commitment to developing an approach which priortises the need of the child above all else is unwavering. Consequently, they have developed a bespoke system which is void of any clinical, detached methods. The team use a collaborative approach to effectively liaise between the legal system and the families at Safe Homes in such a way which does not infringe on the family environment. They nurture relationships with both the children and their parents, concurrent to maintaining the utmost professionalism.
I left Tinca with the greatest respect for the children, families and our team. My head is full of wonder at the unparalleled work being done by this project and my heart has been galvanised into ensuring this bespoke care can be sustained for as long as there is a need for us.