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Alternative Family Care in Practice


Alternative Family Care in Practice

Lumos’s team in the Czech Republic, in conjunction with Dr Gabriela Pecková, MP, are holding an important seminar in the country’s parliament in Prague on Practical Aspects of Foster Care.

The seminar is being held to mark the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, as a seminal moment in the country’s history that saw new freedoms and rights for Czech citizens but also to remind the public that today over 9,500 children do not enjoy all their rights and still live behind the walls of institutions.

The seminar will look at the work that lies ahead to develop foster care services in the country so that vulnerable children, who cannot remain with their own families, can enjoy a family life and are not placed into an institution.

Lumos focuses on working to prevent new admissions of children to institutional care in the Czech Republic by helping the authorities to strengthen alternative community-based family support and foster care. Today’s seminar represents an important meeting of key decision makers in future of children’s services in the country.

Joining the Lumos team in the Czech Republic is Sir Roger Singleton, appearing both in his capacity as an advisor to the UK government in the social and legal protection of children and as Managing Director of Lumos. Roger is speaking about foster care in the UK, focusing on key changes in the system of child protection, as well as the transition from institutional care to individual foster care from the view point of an institutional employee.

Also participating in the discussion is Mr Marek Roháček from the Návrat organization, who himself has been a key activist in transforming care for endangered children in Slovakia. Mr Roháček is using his extensive experience to share the steps which have proved to be crucial in setting up a new care system in his own country.

From the Czech Republic, Mrs Marta Miklušáková, head of the Children’s Rights Section of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, is giving an update on progress within the Czech Republic foster care system, following the changes to the legislation for social and legal protection of children. She is also presenting the new and future policies which will continue to advance these essential reforms.

Mr Daniel Rychlík, head of the Social Affairs Department of the Moravian-Silesian Region, is also speaking about the practical results he has seen within the foster care system in his region. Another speaker, Mrs Věra Brandová, is providing much-needed personal insight as a short-term foster parent, to give her views on the challenges and positives of the new system, and how progress is being made.

As always, Lumos’ primary concern is to highlight the interests of the children it works with, and protect their right to grow up in family-based care.