Children can thrive only in a family-like environment
Four foster parents share their everyday experience
In the last couple of years, after the successful deinstitutionalization of children without parental care in North Macedonia which was conducted with UNICEF support, foster parents have taken an irreplaceable role in giving the care, love and protection to children who need it the most. Four foster parents from various cities share the diversity of their everyday life.
Julijana from Kichevo is currently fostering a teenage girl, with whom she has developed close relationship. “I decided to become foster parent because I was myself in foster care when my family was going through a difficult period. This experience has helped me grow as an individual and become resilient. This has helped me as well to better connect and empathize with the children I take care for.“
Sonja, foster parent from Prilep, a mother of four, is currently taking care for two children with disabilities. “The environment in which children grow and develop means everything. I have seen dramatic improvement in their vocabulary, motoric skills and self-confidence.”
Krushevo is one of the municipalities with good network of foster families. Elpiniki, foster parent from Krushevo, maintains close contact with other foster families and they help each other with advice and practical support. ”I would recommend to everyone, if they have sincere desire, to foster a child, to provide them with a warm home, family and, above all, love. It takes a lot of work, but when you see the progress the child has made, you are overjoyed.”
For the last 10 years, 25 children have been fostered in the family of Nevrie and her husband Gjonum, who have given them warmth and love. They have taken care of children with disabilities, after participating in the specialized trainings. “When we heard on TV that there is a possibility for fostering a child, we immediately decided to take care of someone and help. We would have been left alone in the house if we did not make that decision back then.”
UNICEF provides continuous support to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy to further strengthening of the child-care system, with focus on the foster and kinship care. The main goal is to expand the number of foster families which, like these four families, in their decision to foster a child, are motivated by sincere desire to help and give love.