When I became a foster parent, I brought joy to my home
Emine & Tarkan’s foster care story lasting for 15 years and marking the lives of 18 children who were left without parental support
North Macedonia is one of the European countries which led successful deinstitutionalization of children from the large-scale institutions by end of 2019. This process has improved the living conditions of children, reflecting on the need of an intimate and secure family environment which provides support and understanding to children left without parental support. Such a loving environment is the one of Emine's family, who, together with her husband, are specialized foster caregivers for more than 15 years.
Emine and Turkan have cared for children with different backgrounds, both on a short-term and long-term basis. Due to the sensitivity of the children's life circumstances, Emine and Turkan have participated in tailored specialized trainings which additionally supported them in the process of sensitizing and improving coping skills when caring for children at risk.
"I know the children come from various backgrounds and living conditions, but it's important for me to see what they lack, in order to know how I can help them", noted Emine, thus referring to the daily obligation which the foster caregiver has to patiently approach the various life experiences and personal child’s development.
When it comes to what motivated Emine to become a foster caregiver, she stated that she felt the need to support children left without parental care, after her own children went abroad and founded their own families.
"When I sent my children abroad, the house became silent and I missed the children's chatter. That's when I realized that if I start fostering, I will bring joy to my home."
Emine and Turkan are also taking care of their two granddaughters who have developed an immense closeness with the two children who have been victims of abuse and neglect. The closeness and the continuous support have contributed to a better integration within the family environment. As the time has passed, improvement of their condition has been noticed. The security the children feel is undoubtedly necessary for their further development.
Emine and Turkan have set an example for their neighboring surrounding and they have even inspired their nieces to become foster caregivers once they grow up. An inspiration which may change a child’s life for the better.
UNICEF provides continuous supportto the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in the process of further strengthening the child-care system, with focus on the foster and kinship care. Learn more about foster care possibilities: www.zgrizuvanje.gov.mk