Professional standards for orphan care to be launched in Russia
The charitable foundation The Arithmetic of Good has called for a new charter of professional standards for the welfare of orphans. The foundation has set up a working party and is inviting experts to contribute to the charter. The initiative was welcomed by the Russian Ministry of Labour at its meeting in January 2018 and an announcement was posted on its website. A working party of the Russian Ministry of Science Education was also established to assist, involving members of the Central Board of the National Workers Union for Education and Science.
In response to the Russian Government Resolution No 481, dated 24 May 2014, changes are to be made to orphanages that will allow children to live in apartments as small family units of up to eight people. Effectively, children will move from collective living in the style of barracks to a family setting.
The foundation emphasised that the people who care for orphans are vital to this change in their living arrangements. Vladimir Kabanov, Candidate of Pedagogical Science and responsible for liaising with local authorities on behalf of the foundation stressed this in his remarks: “Changes within orphanages can only be achieved if we change the way our carers work. For this we need to agree the functions that a carer should perform and the skills and abilities he or she should have. Professional standards, as agreed by the Russian Ministry of Labour, should address these and other questions related to professional performance. At the moment these standards do not exist.” Nailya Novozhilova, chair of the foundation, added: “With our charter of professional standards we aim to ensure that all our carers are professionals with specialist training. We believe this is an important first step in reforming the care we provide to orphans.”
Vladimir Kabanov added: “In our view, the work of a carer in an organisation for orphans or children without parental support is fundamentally an educational and psychological role that should be carried out within a family setting. It is about a family raising a small group of children, about helping them to socialise and form bonds with significant adults and meeting their individual psychological, pedagogical and physiological needs in line with the principle of uniform supervision and care. The aim of our approach is to extend the benefits of a family using family values.