Advocacy of the Child Welfare
"Children of Georgia" with partners are involved in the process of implementing evidence- based advocacy for improving child welfare system . The recommendations provided by us developed into the base for significant changes in the legislative and executive levels.
Family support services
With the help of the ‘Open Society Mental Health Initiative’ the project of family support services aimed the support of the deinstitutionalization of the infant homes, by advocacy development process of alternative care models.
The project has developed a variety of services to support children and their families, the family support services included: consulting family, foster family support, early intervention, education and social inclusion, empowerment for the parents.
Strengthen the child care system and services
The project was financed by the United Nations Children’s Fund, with the aim to promote the deinstitutionalization and Prevention of the institutionalization. Within the Project were carried out:
Reintegration and Prevention Foundation ( 0-6 years )
Psychological support for children for transfer to the other services
Strengthen foster care services (trainings for emergency and specialized fosters);
Day centers for children with disabilities - training of professional development for the administration and child specialists , trained 60 employees of 14 day centers
Psychological support for deinstitutionalization and child welfare reform
‘Children of Georgia’ with the great support of the Polish organization ,’Our home’, implemented the project "psychological support for deinstitutionalization and child welfare reform ." Within the framework of the project was carried out psychological preparation of children to be transferred to the foster families and small family-type homes.
In addition of this, psychological support was provided in 25 small family-style homes across the country.
The Regional Project of Azerbaijan
CoG cooperates with Azerbaijan organization "Social Services Initiative" This organization works with disabled children and their families.
Within the framework of cooperation between organizations, in July 2012, ‘Children of Georgia’s’ specialist conducted a survey of service requirements, including the evaluation of professional and methodological aspects. Based on the evaluation results specialists of ‘Children of Georgia’ created training modules related to presented necessities. In 2013 training of the professionals of the mobile groups and their post-supervision was realized.
Development of day centers for professionals
Since October 2011 with financial support from UNICEF, has launched the training for the staff of the day centers for disabled people (6-18 years old). Since January 2012 financial support for this process was continued by the organization ‘Save the Children’.
In order to fulfill the aim of the project- improve the quality of the services for the disabled children in the day centers, following tasks were scheduled: day centers staff training , supervision in the use of knowledge gained from training and making recommendations for improving the quality of the day centers’ service.
Within this project in 15 daily centers professional development training for staff members and their further supervision was performed. Recommendations were created; the training and its participants were evaluated.
Since 2011 ‘Children of Georgia’ has been fulfilling a program held by European Union - European Voluntary Service (EVS). The organization has accreditation to host foreign volunteers from different countries and send Georgian volunteers abroad.
The program aims to promote the development of mutual understanding and solidarity among people living in different countries. The program allows young people to carry out voluntary work outside their countries in a period of 12 months.
Since 2011 ‘The Children of Georgia’ hosted volunteers from New Zealand, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia and Italy. Volunteers were also sent to Finland and Bulgaria.
Organization continues to attract local and foreign volunteers to improve child welfare in Georgia.
Research on alternative child care services
‘Children of Georgia’ with support of EU and guidance of "Every Child " participated in the project with aim to promote the involvement in the children’s right protection. The survey was conducted across the country, in the framework of the project, with collaboration of the associated partners and the Social Services Agency , were studied the needs in daily centers, small family -type homes and non-family foster families in Tbilisi and regions. In order to get information interviews were conducted with individuals and focus-groups from 344 persons, among them: 89 employees of the alternative child care services, 113 beneficiaries, 42 biological parents and 100 recipient parents. By the Processing and analyzing obtained information recommendations were created for: the foster care, small family -type homes and day centers to improve their services.
For Better Living
‘Children of Georgia’ In collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Education, ‘Every Child’ and UNICEF evaluated individual needs of pupils from 8 boarding schools in order to determine the educational services type and further deinstitutionalization . In total 350 pupils were evaluated. Within this project part of the children were transferred to the public schools. ‘Children of Georgia' was also supporting involvement of the children in educational processes in the public schools, with consulting and training staff and monitoring the process of inclusion.
Supporting independent living for disabled children and young people
Manana Makharoblishvili Georgian Specialist with the long experience of working with the disabled children, adolescents and young people with the great support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) (living in Netherlands) arrived to Georgia. She shared her work experience to the representatives of various Non-governmental organizations and her colleagues from the state institutions of children and adolescents’ care. Workshops were held in Tbilisi and in the regions, attended by 169 people. In addition to sharing own experience, the questions asked by institutions’ staff were answered and the recommendations were provided. The comments made by participants and level of activity indicated that experience of Netherlands was interesting and useful for them. Information about the project was published in the Netherlands’ local magazine.
2008 – 2009
Psychological assistance for the population of Shida Kartli
With the financial support of the United Nations Children's Fund was held the project ‘Psychological Assistance for the Population of Shida Kartli’. Within this project was created a mobile version of the Psychological Services, who assisted the children with psychological related to post-war developed difficulties. Services were offered to children living in the Shida Kartli: Gori, Xashuri, Surami, Kareli, Kaspi and surrounding villages .Within the project, the service has been provided in the individual or in the group sessions for 274 children.
Family support services
This project was funded by the ‘Open Society Mental Health Initiative’, " Open Society Institute in Budapest’ and the ‘Open Society Georgia foundation’. The aim of the project was to facilitate the process of deinstitutionalization and transformation of Tbilisi infant house. In particular, the aim was development of the variety of the services to support the children and their families. During the project were family -based alternative services for children living in institutions. Family support services include: consultation to the families, foster family support, early intervention and educational inclusion.
Social Inclusion for pupils of Tbilisi Infant House
‘Children of Georgia’ with Foundation for Progress, implemented social inclusion program for pupils of Tbilisi Infant House . The aim was to promote the integration of the homeless children in the society . Staff of ‘Children of Georgia’ was helping children to integrate in new environment and to learn the necessary skills for the independent living. Children engaged in activities in the different social environments (entertainment centers, movie-theaters, zoo, children's parks, etc.).
Management Training for the education of the children with special educational needs
"Management Training for the education of the children with special educational needs" was held with the financial support of Federation ‘Save the Children’. This project assisted in the development of the practice in the inclusive education and integration of the children with special needs into society through their inclusion into the public schools in Kutaisi. The project was focused on the development of School staffs’ skills in order to increase the education quality for children with disabilities in the selected schools by individual education plans. The main activities of the project included the training of school teachers and supervision while working with the children with special needs. For pre-selected personnel from # 45 School (children with the hearing problems), # 12 and # 32 public schools and from the resource center were held trainings on the following topics: child development, child development disorders, interviewing, classroom management, adaptation of the curriculum and creating individual education plans. Since September 2008 inclusion of children with disabilities at school # 12 and # 32 would be performed.
Social Inclusion -based care model for children with special needs
‘Children of Georgia’ with financial support of UNICEF implemented the project which was aimed at technical support child welfare reform . The target group were disabled children living in the four institutions, their caregivers, nurses, other professionals and parents. During the project developed and implemented a model of care focused on children, as well as the social inclusion model for the institutionalized children in the public kindergartens. Also, there were formulated 3 behavior management teams, working in the following institutions: Tbilisi Infant House, The # 200 boarding school in Tbilisi; Day Centre in Kutasi for Cerebral Palsy Children "Tonusi" and #2 boarding school in the village Gumbati. Behavior management team members were psychologists or special education teachers creating and implementing individual education plans within the following programs: basic academic skills development programs, functional skills development program, a hard behavior management program , parent - child relationship program
survey for social inclusion
’Children of Georgia’ with the financial support of the United Nations Children's Fund implemented the project, which provided technical assistance to the child welfare reform held by Ministry of Education and Science. The project\evaluated the living conditions, level of the social inclusion and children's independent functioning skills. The target was the families with disabled children in Kvemo Kartli region and in the 13 institutions.
Georgian tool for Rapid evaluation of adaptive behavior (GABSI)
local and international experts (Nino Gogichadze and Barry Parsonson ) from ‘Children Of Georgia’ launched creating the Georgian tool for Rapid evaluation of adaptive behavior (GABSI). In 2007 ‘Children of Georgia’ with the assistance of UNICEF, continued to work for the Georgian tool for Rapid evaluation of adaptive behavior.
2006- Establishment of the service for children with the special needs and for their families in Zestafoni
The project was funded by New Zealand’s private donations . Establishment of service for children with special needs and for their family meant creating daily center for children with the special needs and providing homeschool service for them. Multidisciplinary team : teachers, medical staff ,parents and volunteers were t rained. The project partner was the local NGO ’ Orion ’ which took part in the training and working with children with special needs .
Project ,, Beginning of the new life"
Project was implemented by ’Children of Georgia’ and the center of social sciences, funded by the federation ’Save the Children’. Project started in July, 2005 and finished in September, 2006. Project included the phase of evaluation procedures, followed by Structured professional development program. This program has increased the knowledge, skills, action systems of the psychologists, social workers and teachers, working with the children with high risks of being indigent and street children, adolescents and their families .In the process of training the knowledge and skills of the participant were evaluated in three areas: in the training process, according the home works and the practical exercises.
18 th of April, 2006 organization ‘Children of Georgia’ was registered as a Non-entrepreneur (non-commercial) Legal Entity
2000 - The founders of the organization have conducted intensive training for local organizations to promote de-institutionalization , as well as the training of the psychologists providing psychological support for the refugees.
1999 -The report about infants home’s negative side (prepared by founders of organization COG) was presented to the government representatives with the recommendations for the necessary changes by the founders of organization ’COG’/
1997 – 1998 One of the organization's founder- Barry Parsonson, in cooperation with The Tbilisi State University led the course in the Applied Behavior Analysis.
1996 - The co-founders Mary Jane Rousse and Barry Parsonson came to Georgia and got acquainted with the situation in the organization ‘Children of Georgia’.