Family Haven competition launched

Feb 17, 2020 at 13:59 • Family and Children

The Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko invites non-profits and municipal and state agencies to submit their entries to the Family Haven competition, which is designed to improve the performance of the social orphanhood prevention system. The competition will provide support for practices that have proved to be effective in Russia, as well as for such operating procedures for the prevention of social orphanhood as are innovative in the provinces. The competition is run by the Klyuch [Key] Charitable Foundation.

The competition focuses on practices that will be used to address the key aspects of social orphanhood. As revealed by a study commissioned by the Timchenko Foundation, the most common reason why children land up in orphanages is alcohol abuse and drug dependences of one or both parents — 44% of the cases. The runner-up is inadequate parenting, usually by orphanage leavers or those from disadvantaged families (24%). In third place by frequency is strained family finances (14%), sickness or disability of children or parents (13%).

As international and Russian experience shows, families that face problems or a crisis can and should be helped — then the child will be able to remain with or come back to its “reformed” parents. But as the study shows, the weak link in this country’s orphanhood prevention system is still early identification of family trouble, as well as haphazard or insufficient assistance, inadequate infrastructure, e.g., for temporary placement of children for the duration of the crisis or help to parents of children with disabilities.

The aim of the Family Haven competition is to engage, support and promote Russian practices for identifying and systematically managing in-crisis families, as well as foreign orphanhood prevention methods that are applicable in Russia.

The second competition has four central areas of focus that cover efforts to eliminate the key causes of social orphanhood:

  • Orphanhood prevention in biological families with parent(s) that have alcohol, drug or other dependencies;
  • Orphanhood prevention in biological families where even one of the parents or children has a disability;
  • Assistance to and support for large and single-parent biological families at different stages of family trouble (limitation or revocation of parental rights, risk of a child’s refusal/removal from the family);
  • Assistance to and support for biological families where a child has been temporarily placed with children’s homes/minors’ facilities.

The second All-Russian Family Haven Competition is open to Russian non-profits and state and municipal organisations active in the field of childhood protection. Entries can only be submitted through the portal for childhood professionals between 17 February and 17 March 2020. After the shortlisting and evaluation of entries by experts and the Competition Panel, the Timchenko Foundation will name the winners by 7 April 2020.

The organizations that win the Family Haven competition will receive funding of up to 750 thou. rbl., expert advice and guidance, an opportunity to train and join study placements as part of the educational projects of the Timchenko Foundation’s Family and Children programme, as well as a chance to publicize their practices among their colleagues in Russia.

An organization can enter only one project. The time frame for implementing the winning projects: 11 May 2020 to 15 November 2021.

Full information about the second All-Russian Family Haven Competition as well as a list of winning projects will be posted on the portal for childhood professionals, the Timchenko Foundation’s website and the website of the Klyuch foundation.

In 2019, the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko organized for the first time as part of the Family and Children programme a competition for validated practices and innovative solutions aimed at preserving the biological family for the child. Funding and advice, as well as an opportunity for further education and promotion of their projects was made available to 44 entities from 24 Russian states.