Protection for foster families

The Investigations Committee of the Russian
Federation has been protecting foster families

 

The
ASI correspondent was told about the above from Boris Altshuler, the acting
chair of the Public Chamber committee that covers social issues and demographic
policy.

 

Staff
from the guardianship agency tried to take away the children of Vera
Drobinskaya, a foster mother from the Astrakhan region but she did not allow
them to. Subsequently legal proceedings were issued against her. The pretext
for removal was that she was abusing her charges. However, Boris Altshuler
takes the view that ‘the real reason for the interference’ was Drobinskaya’s
social activism. Not only did she care for seven children who earlier been
labelled as ‘hopeless’ but also tried to help other inmates of boarding
institutions and specialised children’s homes to obtain the right to a decent
life, education and quality medical attention. So in spring 2011, Vera
Drobinskaya published photographs of an anonymous cemetery for inmates of the
Raznochinovsky children’s boarding home. Furthermore, she made a number of
complaints about the situation to various authorities.

 

Boris
Altshuler sent the chair of the Investigations Committee of the Russian
Federation, Alexander Bastrykin a letter asking for the situation concerning
the foster family to be looked into. Alexander Bastrykin requested his
assistant, Igor Komisarov,  to go to
Astrakhan.   ‘Mr Komisarov met with
leading figures in the Astrakhan region and visited the family of Ms Drobinskaya
and the Raznochinovsky children’s boarding home. The visit produced positive
results. The Administration of the 
Investigations Committee for the Astrakhan Region took the
Raznochinovsky home and Drobinskaya’s family under its wing’, said Mr Altshuler
in his interview with ASI. According to him at his meeting with the director of
the home, Valentina Urazalieva, Mr Komisarov stated that it was necessary to
open a children’s home to the public.

 

In
addition the civil rights defenders continue to be concerned about the fate of
Vera Drbinskaya’s foster children. Whether the children have to be returned to
the boarding home will be for the local court to decide. The expert promised
that the public chamber together with the investigations committee of the
Russian Federation will be following the progress of the court case.

 

Boris
Altshuler is grateful for the help that Alexander Bastrukin and  Igor Komisarov have provided in the case of
Vera Drobinskaya’s family and those in the charge of  the Raznochinsky home.  He
emphasised that Mr Komisarov’s visit had been hugely helpful to  Ms Drobinskaya and her children who were
frightened of returning to the orphanage. He said that her eldest daughter was
so troubled that she had ended up in hospital.

 

The
unprofessional behaviour of the guardianship agencies who would ‘appear in a
family and remove the children‘ was characteristic of the whole country, went
on Mr Altshuler. He asserted that the possibility of making decisions that were
merely formal was provided for in the Family Code of the Russian Federation and
that it was essential to amend the provisions. The expert stressed that in the
code should be amended to provide for families and children in difficulties to
receive support. The state should work with NGOs to provide structured medical,
psychological and educational assistance.

 

Earlier,
the co-chair of the International Socio-Ecological Association, Maria Ruzina,
had written to the  Presidential
Ombudsman for Children’s Rights, Pavel Astakhov, requesting that he protect the
family of Vera Drobinskaya. The reason for the intervention by the guardianship
agencies had been a statement from the pastor of the evangelical Lutheran
church alleging ‘child abuse’. In her letter Ms Ruzina pointed out that Ms Drobinskaya
was caring for seven children who had previously been characterised as
hopeless. She was also trying to help other children who were still in boarding
establishments and specialised homes in order for them to obtain the right to a
decent life, education and quality medical attention.

 

Recently,
Ms Drobinskaya had documents published in Livejournal about the refusal of
professional medical help for inmates of the Raznochinsky home for mentally
retarded children by the appropriate authorities. (http://drobinskaja.livejournal.com/307786.htm

).

 

Ms
Ruzina observed, ‘This runs counter to the practices and expectations of
certain local leaders and officials … everything will be done to stop someone
who may be termed a civil activist’. She called upon Mr  Astakhov to help in having the officials who
were responsible for persecuting the family punished.

 

http://www.asi.org.ru/ASI3%5Crws_asi.nsf/va_WebPages/BF2F87A817FFF2CC442579900034C20DRus

 

 

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