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PRIDE 2014 (1)The Ruse complex has a team of PRIDE trainers and on 15th August, 2014, the team hosted the final session of their second training programme – “Adopt PRIDE – making an informed decision”

The program is designed to improve the quality of foster care and adoption services, offering standardized and structured training model for recruitment and selection of foster parents and adoptive parents. PRIDE helps prospective foster parents and adoptive parents to acquire the competencies needed to perform their roles.

The purpose of the final discussion was to enable the participants to obtain information on topics of interest or concern and – based on the information received – to be in a stronger position in which make an informed decision to become foster parents or not.

During this session prospective foster parents and supportive relatives and friends were able to become better acquainted with the various institutions involved in the child protection system through informal conversation with senior representatives.

The event was attended by senior people from the Regional Directorate of Social Assistance, the municipal Department of Social Assistance, the Child Protection Department, the Regional Inspectorate of Education, the municipal foster care team working under the project “I have a family” and the PRIDE team from the complex. All were keen to offer their perspectives on foster care and to provide words of encouragement.

Personal stories were shared and they reflected a broad variety of perspectives – those of active foster parents, those of a couple who have recently adopted a child who was previously fostered and those of a biological parent whose child was temporarily in foster care during a period of family crisis. EQ’s chairman – David Bisset – contributed by explaining how he reconciles his professional role with his personal motives for working with children. Foster parents need to strike a similar type of balance but nobody should be afraid of the “love” word.

Participants watched a clip from a DVD used in the context of training in which a highly experienced foster parent shares her experience of caring for children with developmental problems before our two prospective foster parents from the current phase of PRIDE were awarded certificates.