Orphan Care Program

Type:
Missionary and social projects
City:
Lviv
Ministry Type:
Children and YouthMercy Ministries

After Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited spiritual decline. AIDS, drugs, alcoholism, abortions and early pregnancies are all huge problems in Ukraine. Parents are not taking care of their children and instead leave them at orphanages.

Officially, there are 100,000 orphans in Ukraine but the unofficial number could reach 500,000 orphans and homeless children. God tells us to show mercy to orphans who do not know what love means. Such children in Ukraine are considered State property. They live in orphanages or boarding schools. These orphans don’t have their own childhood or family. 83% of orphans are afraid of future life as adults after finishing boarding school. Orphanage is a horrible place for these children, where only some physical needs are met. Siblings are separated because orphanages are divided by age; children are very often abused verbally, physically and sexually. Such kids are also easy targets for sex trafficking. After they leave the orphanage at the age of 18, they do not have place to live. Statistics show that 70% of them end up in crime, 50% of girls become prostitutes and 30% commit suicide within two years. Only God can help these children and He is using Christians for that.

There aren’t any orphanages or boarding schools (even Christian) that can substitute family for a child. What is the way out? An actual family! That’s a merciful step. God told us to help orphans.

We started the Orphan Care program seven years ago in Ukraine. Our goal is to give children and youth in orphanages the opportunity to be part of a Christ-centered family and local church, to respond to Christ’s call to follow Him, and to learn social, relational and academic skills to reach God’s potential for their lives. 

We train caseworkers who travel to different churches to share the needs of orphans. They share our vision for how to address that need, and a lot of families are opening their hearts and their homes for these children. Our caseworkers assist in preparing the child for placement, providing training for parents, helping to prepare all needed documents for adoption, do home visits, and support the family during the whole process of adoption. We are placing children from the orphanages with Christian families and our case workers continue to visit and help them until the child is 18 years old. Our caseworkers organize support group meetings each month for adoptive and foster families who live in the same region.

Since we began, we have placed 450 children into 150 Christian families. We also run Orphan Care family camps for families who are part of the Orphan Care program. One of the main purposes of the family camps is to bring the families together so that they can fellowship with other families who understand their journeys. Camp becomes a place where foster families have an effective time as one team during seven days. We hope to be able to continue to do at least 1-3 camps each year, so more parents and adoptive children have an opportunity to attend them.

Case Worker Responsibilities

- Dealing with authorities of the orphanage, social services and government

- Recruiting qualified families

- Training foster families before and while they have foster children; consulting, encouraging, and enabling the foster families

- Making sure children are selected who desire a Christian foster family before placement and meeting periodically with the children to make sure they are adjusting and progressing well.

- Organizing special classes and learning opportunities separate for parents and children according to need and opportunity

Through the New Hope Orphan Care ministry, families help each child in following areas:

·         Physical/Medical/Developmental

·         Familial

·         Educational

·         Social

·         Emotional/Psychological/Spiritual

·         Behavioral

·         Living Skills

·         Recreational