SOS Social Centres in Lithuania
In Lithuania there are currently three Social Centres for children and the local community, including one in Vilnius and a Summer Camp in Karkle. Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, that aim to support the wider community. Below is some information about two of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Lithuania:
Social Centres around Lithuania: In-Depth
Description of Social Centre/FSP:
The family strengthening programme offers access to essential services for children’s development (eg. educational, nutritional, health support, social skills) and supports families to protect and care for their children. The programme also aims at linking families with income generating activities and offers help to improve the parents’ parenting skills.
Work and Achievements:
In 2009, there were 37 new families, raising 80 children in total, accepted to Vilnius Family Strengthening Project during the course of the year. 6 families (raising 13 children in total) finished their participation in the project and became self-sufficient. 18 families, raising 31 children in total, left the project for other reasons. The average number of service recipients reached: 240 children and 88 families.
At the end of the year there were 98 families, raising 264 children in total (141 boys and 123 girls), participating in the project from Vilnius city and region. Assistance was being provided to 133 adults: 33 men and 100 women. The project encompasses families mostly from Vilnius city and elderships (regions) of Siuzionys, Paberze and Marijampolis. Families are being accepted to the project for several different reasons, which bring threat to the children and stability in the family. These are alcoholism, violence and poverty. Most parents lack sufficient parenthood skills, they are not capable of caring and educating their children properly.
At the moment there are 5 employees working in Vilnius Family Strengthening Centre and child day care centre: 2 full-time employees and 3 part-time employees, with additional help of volunteers. This year the project employed 17 volunteers and students undergoing their social work practice.
This year’s activities: seminars for parents about childcare, parenting skills building meetings, lectures, family visitations. A lot of attention was given to individual consultations and work in order to tackle difficult family situations. 4 children received partial funding to pay for consultations of a speech-therapist. Mediatory work executed with SOS Nursery regarding provision of their services. There are 16 children attending Nursery at the moment. Seminars for children: “Assertiveness”, “Resolving Conflicts”, “Prevention of Addictions”, “Prevention of Violence and Jeer”, and “Emotions and their Meaning”. 30 children were camping in SOS children’s camp in Karkle resort.
In 2009 we launched the project “Live Differently!” devoted to integration of youngsters from risk group families (from 14 to 29 years of age) into the labour market. During the year 2009 the first 5 participants of Vilnius Family Strengthening Project finished a modul of 4 seminars and were provided with individual consultations.
Karkle Summer Camp
Work and achievements:
311 children (incl. SOS children and other foster homes/public institutions) were camping in the resort in 2009. Plus, there were 373 other guests and SOS staff camping there.
As usual, older children and youth from SOS CV were able to work in Karkle summer camp. There were 7 children from SOS CV and 2 youngsters from YF working there in the summer. Depending on their age, some of them worked 4 hours, others 8 hours, having the other time for their leisure. The children were supervised by a pedagogue during their free time. Housekeeper and our facility director were responsible for our YF youngsters’ safety at work and their leisure time.
The summer camp facility was improved by adding a new log house with electrical installations.