Firefly Project Wins First Place in Russia-wide Competition!
November 24, 2011 – The Managers’ Association of Russia, as part of its “People Investor 2011” Forum, awarded the distinguished honor of first place in the “Developing Local Communities” category for Firefly’s project “From Institutional Care to Family Support.” This unique program, which is also funded by KPMG, is an innovative 3-year project that educates healthcare practitioners, education professionals and social services providers who work with Russian families who are socially at-risk, raising children with disabilities, and fostering or adopting young children from institutions.
Firefly is making a tremendous impact in Russia. To date, Firefly has informed over 2,100 child welfare specialists about the damaging impact of institutionalization on infants and young children and about ways to develop support programs to keep children in families. Firefly has also extensively trained 125 direct care practitioners that have already helped over 8,000 children and families, with an additional 3,600 served each year.
Impact on Direct Care Providers
Firefly is making a tremendous impact on the skill and knowledge advancement of the following professionals:
In five different regions in Russia, Firefly has already informed over 2,100 child welfare specialists about the damaging impact of institutionalization on infants and young children and about ways to develop support programs to keep children in families. Firefly has also extensively trained 125 direct care practitioners that provide daily support services to children and families.
Firefly’s work is also creating a powerful cascade effect as those who participate in lectures and trainings share their knowledge with colleagues and create new support services for children and families. Following are a few specific activities of these motivated Russian specialists:
- Developing internal early intervention guidelines and regulations for their own organizations
- Starting a prevention service at a maternity hospital to support and encourage new mothers to take their newborns home instead of putting them into institutions
- Helping other medical and social service centers develop EI programs in neighboring cities
- Supporting the development of parents’ movements and working with mass media and the general public to change attitudes towards children with disabilities and their families
- Joining the Russian Early Intervention Association to share experiences and support the development of EI services across Russia
Feedback from Trainees
Firefly is proud to provide Russian healthcare, education and social services providers with progressive training based on international best practices. Read about the impact of these training seminars on recent attendees:
“I have a better understanding of children with disabilities and a greater desire and ability to help them.”
“Your seminar really inspired us to further our work. We received a lot of new, modern data about autism, and learned new methods of working with such children. We are very grateful to your team for providing us with this possibility.”
“The benefit of the seminar is enormous and goes far beyond purely professional interests. The life of each individual and the quality of this life merits our efforts in this area…the care system should be tailored to cater to the individual that needs help.”
“Once we began speaking to mothers, we understood how important this work is….We hope this program will help solve many issues….and that there will be fewer abandoned children.”
Impact on Children and Families
Firefly-trained direct care practitioners provide support services to Russian families who are socially at-risk, raising children with disabilities, and fostering or adopting children from institutions. These specialists have helped over 8,000 children and families to date, with an additional 3,600 served each year. For the first time ever, families of young children (ages 0 – 3 years old) have the opportunity to receive support services. The number of clients is steadily increasing, and the overall acceptance of these important programs is growing rapidly.