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Tatjana Meleshko, SOS Children’s Villages Russia

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Foster Families in SOS Children’s Villages in Russiaaspirations and behavior of children and young people and their relationship to educational outcomes

SOS CV has operated in Russia since 1994. In 1996 the first Children's Village was opened, now in Russia there are 6 CV in different regions of Russia where orphaned and abandoned children live.
For many years SOS CVs in Russia successfully worked in compliance with the classical model developed by Herman Gmayner 60 years ago.
Due to the changes in the legislation of Russia prioritizing adoption of children or children placement into foster families, SOS family, actually being a family based care, officially is considered as an institutional form of care. Children from SOS CVs remain in open database of children for adoption and foster families. Children withdrawal from SOS families and the attachment break-off cause the emotional and psychological traumas of children
Introduction of foster families to CV was one of answers to external challenges. Since 2013 this process has gone in 2 directions: 1) transformation of "classical" SOS families to foster families; and 2) selection of already existing large foster families for living within the SOS CV with full support from the SOS CV staff.
This process now is actively going in several RF regions: in CV Vologda there are 6 "internal" foster families. In CV Tomilino, besides 5 "classical" SOS families, there are 3 "external" and 3 "internal" foster families. In CV Kandalaksha there are 2 "external" foster families, and one "internal" foster family is preparing to be a foster family..
Experts of CV revealed advantages of transition to foster families. For children it is a feeling of safety (they are removed from the federal database), the attachment between children and foster mother is developing faster.
Advantages for foster mothers: improvement of financial conditions (for the majority of regions in Russian Federation), the state social support, opportunity to live together with their spouses and the biological/ adopted children, vast choice of methods of education and training of children. Foster families encourage increasing at foster parents sense of responsibility for children and their future.

Keywords: Foster families, SOS CV, Russia