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Helping parents and professionals to better understand the needs of children in alternative care in Greece

In the context of our technical assistance programme in partnership with Martin James Foundation, Eurochild provided Greek member Roots Research Center NGO with the unique opportunity to travel to Crete and provide essential trauma-informed and attachment-aware trainings to parents and professionals in alternative care.

In Crete, there is a large number of children living in residential care but prospective foster parents and professionals lack access to information and training that is usually available in the city of Athens. For this reason, Roots Research Center has developed two programmes:  

  • Trainings for professionals

In collaboration with the Center of Social Welfare of the District of Crete, Roots Research Center developed a 2 day-programme in December and March that was attended by more than 45 front-liners and professionals, including social workers, head of institutions, psychologists, nurses and institutional caregivers. Participants learned about the effects of trauma on children’s development and the necessary conditions to create an effective family-based care for children.   

  • Trainings for parents who want to adopt and prospective foster parents 

    An in-depth experiential training was provided to prospective parents in collaboration with the department of Social Welfare in the municipality of Heraklion Crete. Through exercises, role play and drawing, they were able to better understand the needs of children with developmental trauma or attachment issues. All participants were evaluated and approved as prospective parents and are currently undergoing the official training required before being matched with children living in residential care.

Both programmes allowed participants to better understand and experience:

  • the needs of children in institutional and alternative care.
  • the effects of trauma on children’s behavior 
  • the traumatic effects of institutional care on children 
  • the therapeutic effects of a family based care
  • the necessity of therapeutic and reparative decisions that are for the best interest of the child.  

Further training for professionals and parents is necessary in order to transition from institutional care to family based care in Greece.

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