Home is where the heart is
How a team of foster families provides a happy and safe family life for every child
Small town, big hearts. This is Biala Podlaska, Poland, home to Lighthouse, a centre that supports foster and adoptive families with specialized care and a heartwarming community.
“There is no other place like the Lighthouse,” says Klaudia Chazan, a foster mother and a board member of the One Heart Association. “It is a place where my children come to and a place where they can develop. Thanks to the Lighthouse, a lot of people have learned about foster care, and a lot of children found their home.”
Run by One Heart Association, and supported by UNICEF, this centre offers a range of specialized services to meet the unique needs of foster families. This includes psychology, physiotherapy, Trust-Based Relational Intervention trainers, sensory integration therapy, support for foster families from Ukraine, and more. Despite the range of services being offered, the centre feels less like an institution, and more like a home.
“Lighthouse is a place of support designed for our children to feel good, to feel like they are at home,” confirms Jaroslaw Wojtasinski, a foster father and president of the Association. This is confirmed by children in the centre, including 15-year-old Nastia, “I like the people here, I like the way they treat us.”
Learning to change the world for children
When the war in Ukraine escalated and several foster families from Ukraine began to reach out to the One Heart Association, the team quickly realized that their needs were like their own and that an all-around support centre would be the best solution.
Having over 20 years of experience with foster care, the team at the Lighthouse knows exactly what children in foster and adoptive care need, but also what parents and families as a whole need. Using a range of therapeutic tools, they help with every child’s development, rebuild self-esteem, and ignite new passions and interests.
“Lighthouse is a safe space, a second home, where my family and I have a group of people who support, love, and accept us, and help my children shine,” says Dorota, a foster mother to five girls.
Watch the video from the visit to Lighthouse Centre to hear first-hand what this place means to families and children.
This work is made possible thanks to generous support from the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), as well as other private and public donors from around the world.