Connecting Older Youth with Families

Child Protection Working Group members Svetlana Egorycheva, Kim Helfgott, and Randi Thompson meet during the 2013 SEE conference.

On September 26-27, the Child Protection, Community Development, Higher Education, and Public Health Working Groups gathered in Arlington, VA, for SEE’s inaugural conference, “Building New Networks.” Each working group designed a project that they will carry out over the next year.
The Child Protection Working Group’s project aims to improve models for finding families for older youth and enabling more successful transitions for orphans to adulthood. The project will facilitate the exchange of best practices for recruiting families and mentors and disseminate these strategies among child welfare specialists, orphanage directors, and NGOs workers.  Project participants will analyze current challenges and practices, conduct site visits, and hold child-focused recruitment trainings and virtual conferences. The result of the project will be a set of recruitment recommendations that will be presented via webinars and disseminated via DVD to interested organizations and agencies. Jointly implementing the project will be (in Russia) Moscow State Regional University, the Charitable Foundation “Warm House,” the Perm Educational Research Center/Regional Foundation, and Kidsave Russia, and (in the US) the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the American Institute for Research, Show Hope, and Kidsave International.