About

 

THE CHRISTIAN CENTRE FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN

                                                           

Being committed to develop social solutions for crime-associated phenomena, Prison Fellowship Romania administers a residential care programme aimed at individually assisting homeless children. This project is designed to prevent and reduce juvenile delinquency by means of familial and social reintegration according to each individual’s specific needs and resources.

 

FACILITY           

 Located in a building sponsored in part by the City Hall of Cluj Napoca, the centre has a full capacity of thirty six children. It consists of four apartments (each with two bedrooms of four/five beds, one room for daily activities and one bathroom), a conference room, and a mess hall. At the moment, the Christian Centre for Homeless Children is taking care of 32 children, aged 7 to 18, who either lived on the street or whose family lost their home due to poverty or failed financial schemes.

 

SERVICES             

 The services we offer are primarily medical, psychosocial and spiritual. We hope thereby to reintergate the child into society or his/her family of origin whenever possible. At the child’s arrival, our main interest is in individually designing a global intervention plan as required by the specifics of the case in discussion. This plan is derived from the data gathered through the initial evaluation of the child, which consists of general medical check-up as well as a psychological and educational evaluation.

  • SCHOOL               

 At first assisting the child involves obtaining identity cards (many children sheltered here did not have a birth certificate or an identity card at their arrival) and assigning him/her to a school and/or a family doctor. His/her access to education is preceded by the evaluation of the child’s knowledge, skills and potential. During the school year, the child is then thoroughly supervised in accomplishing his/her homework and, moreover, trained and motivated to improve his /her performance.

  • PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES      

 Psychological assistance is a long-term service offered to the child.  In addition to the initial evaluation, it consists of periodical evaluations followed by  psychological interventions specific to the identified problems. These interventions enable/support learning and conflict–solving strategies that are socially desirable, recovering from emotional traumas such as sexual/physical/verbal abuse and/or parental neglect, gaining self-control and a sense of belonging etc.)

  • SOCIAL SERVICES                      

 Another main purpose of our intervention is the organisation of special group – settings and social events such as: discussion groups, birthday parties, trips and camps, shows for children, games, competitions and activity groups with delinquent teenagers from Gherla Prison, etc. They are designed to improve the child’s self-esteem, develop his/her communicational and relational skills and introduce him/her to the socially accepted way of life.

  • FAMILIAL SERVICES                       

 Besides assisting the child in his/her need of a peaceful and efficient life, we make significant efforts to identify and support his/her family of origin, up to the point where familial reintegration may become possible. This includes gathering data regarding the problems that led to the institutionalization of the child, regarding the former and the present nature of the relationships between family members and regarding familial obstacles and resources in taking adequate care of the child, as well as facilitating the child’s contact with his/her family and preparing his/her parents or relatives for his/her reintegration (mostly by increasing the parents’ desire to fully assume their parental role).

 

RESULTS                

After more than four years of work, our success in providing these children a decent way of living,   based on affectionate care and security, is relative.  Until now, 89 children benefited from our services, out of which 57 left the centre: 15% returned on the street, 10% were transferred to other centres, 65% were integrated in their family of origin and 10% were integrated in their extended family.  We can not replace the children’s parents and they are fully aware of this. We do succeed in temporarily protecting them from their self-destructive tendencies and in introducing them to a benevolent God and to a welcoming world. Sometimes this proves timely and sufficient, sometimes it does not.  Sometimes they stay until they are fully integrated into society; sometimes they leave before we make any permanent difference. Nevertheless, we heartily continue our work in the name of Jesus and open our eyes to see and uncover the hidden inner-beauty of these so called “homeless children”.

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