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NP E.V.A. helps specialists from orphanages in Saint-Petersburg

On the 26th of March in Saint Petersburg, at the state medical institution «Specialized Orphanage №3», a meeting took place with “E.V.A.” employees Alexei Lahov…

On the 26th of March in Saint Petersburg, at the state medical institution “Specialized Orphanage №3”, a meeting took place with “E.V.A.” employees Alexei Lahov and Maria Godlevskaya.
More than 30 psychologists, social workers and special education teachers from orphanages in Saint Petersburg attended the event, which was organized on the initiative of Elena Borisovna Libova, head of the city coordinating center for the work of orphanages.
In Saint Petersburg in 2015 a project on educating personnel from orphanages on interacting with parents of potential abandoned children was implemented. The purpose of the project was to return as many babies as possible to their natal families.
“We can’t always find a common language with young mothers among which there are women with various substance abuse problems and for whatever reasons send their children into state custody. How to find this language, what to talk about, how to awaken the maternal instincts and if it’s worth doing this – these are the topics of our seminars and trainings which we hold for the personnel at orphanages,” child psychologists Vera Kelim, who participated in the project, shared.
The meeting that took place on March 26th was dedicated to substance abuse and working with women who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. According to data from 2013, among parents whose children end up in Saint Petersburg’s orphanages, 20% are alcoholics, 20% drug users, 20% HIV-positive, and 7% mentally ill.
“After such meetings, one wishes to hear the responses to the questions: “What did you hear that is useful to you?” and “How will you put this into practice?”, says Alexei Lahov. “Judging by the reactions of the specialists who were present, the topic of addiction of parents and the issue of their young dependents is what we call a ‘sore spot’: on the one hand helpless children and on the other, hapless mothers. What goes on in the mind of an addicted person? Why do drug dependent mothers regularly visit their children despite their active drug use and associations with these problems? How should one conduct oneself with such women, what to say to them, where to send them? We try to answer these questions.”
“It was clear that the specialists worry about the children a great deal but do not understand the specifics of working with their addicted parents,” added Maria Godlevskaya. “We told them that it’s not necessary to give up on dependent clients but that it is possible and essential to work with them. It’s just that instead it should be done by competent specialists on addiction and HIV infection, and the staff at orphanages can send parents of their wards to them – doing this gently, but in some cases, rather insistently.”
At the end of the meeting, the specialists from the orphanage received brochures from the regional charity community organization “AZARIA (Mothers against drugs)”, which compiled relevant information on the types of aid accessible to addicted individuals in Saint Petersburg as well as brochures on working with addicted individuals “Profession: Counselor”, that were put together by specialists from the regional community organization “Workshop of Freedom”.

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