Firefly is dedicated to helping Russian professionals end the practice of institutionalizing children. Russia can significantly reduce the number of children in institutions by developing support programs for families who are socially at-risk, raising children with disabilities, and fostering or adopting young children. Firefly shares lessons learned by the United States, Canada, and Western Europe by disseminating successful intervention programs and knowledge in these fields:
Russian specialists can learn from advancements in these countries and quickly implement best practices without having to go through decades of trial-and-error learning.
Current Russian policy and practice channel thousands of children into state institutions each year. The vast majority of these children have at least one living parent who has given them up to the state for a variety of reasons. Institutions do not offer the nurturing environment needed to help children develop into healthy adults. Unfortunately, the documented result of child institutionalization is a lost generation of young adults who gravitate to prostitution, crime and prison. In addition, these young adults don’t know how to parent and often give their own children to the state to be raised in institutions, thus perpetuating this tragic cycle.
Firefly has developed several key intervention programs to keep children in family settings. These programs have been successfully piloted in various cities of post-Soviet countries and are ready for replication anywhere in Russia, leading to tangible short- and long-term results.
Within the next few decades, the Russian government hopes to close large state-run institutions and keep children in birth, foster or adoptive families, or small family-style residential treatment homes for children with severe disabilities. Firefly is dedicated to helping Russia achieve this goal.