SOS Social Centres in Poland
In Poland there are currently four Social Centres for children and the local community, including those in Haven and Ustroń. Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, which aim to support the wider community. Below is some information about two of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Poland:
SOS Social Centres around Poland: In-Depth
Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:
SOS Social Centre Haven has been working for 6 years. In its work the centre supports the care-giving functions of a family. It deals mainly with socio-therapeutic work in situations in which for different reasons a family cannot fulfil their educating role.
Work and Achievements:
At the end of 2009 there were 56 children (22 families). The centre helped 90 children (34 families) in total.
In June, Haven along with City Family Support Centre and Student Sport Club of the YF organized a festival called ‘Welcome holidays’ for 135 children and their parents. At the turn of June we organized a trip to the mountains for children. One more time we use a formula of connecting recreation with social therapy.
Participation of local partners working with families and vulnerable children was enhanced by means of the following activities: ‘Family academy’ within the scope of City Family Support Centre’s Programme of Local Activity (workshop on skills: social, professional, educational, psychological support, pedagogical support, legal support), ‘Journey for one’s own power’ cooperation with SOPRA- opening of a information-consultation centre, participation in support groups, social therapy for children and youth), Church of Evangelical Christians (material support for families).
Work with children involved specification of aspects of socio-psychological functioning that are essential for examining causes of existing difficulties and deciding on the methods of dealing with them. The children were offered help with schoolwork. The staff made sure they fulfilled their school duties, strengthened their motivation to learn and to take steps intended to work together on reaching important goals.
Provided help significantly improved children’s results at school. Children spend their free time attending the following classes: computer, sport (cycling, fitness, team games), technical and arts, sightseeing (in summer there was a trip to the mountains combined with social therapy and sightseeing tours), film and fishing. That is why socially unacceptable behaviour (vulgar language, verbal abuse, physical abuse, smoking, alcoholism) was reduced.
Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:
In Ustroń, SOS Children operates a short term placement Social Centre.
Work and achievements:
On December 31 2009, there were 12 children in Sindbad in Ustroń including: one 5-children family, one 4-children family, one 2-children family and one girl. When court procedures were completed 15 children were sent to target care forms. 6 of them returned to their family homes, 3 were transferred to housing facilities, 2 to monitored flats, 1 boy to Family House and 3 to orphanages. In their place Sindbad accepted 15 new children: one 5-children family, one 4-children family, one 2-children family and 4 single children.
All children received medical help.
The centre cooperates with biological families. They are informed about possibilities to visit their children and to take them on holiday. All children from Sindbad spent Christmas in their family homes or with their closest relatives.
In July and August our beneficiaries took part in organized holiday trips (2-week camp in Pogorzelica at the seaside and 2-week camp in Drogomyśl).
The centre cooperates with family courts and social support units as well as with other institutions dealing with problems of children and families.
All employees of Sindbad undergo supervision once a month. In difficult situations the team uses help of external specialists (educational and psychological centres, centre of children’s mental health).
Between 01.01.2009 and 31.12.2009 27 children stayed in Sindbad.