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Review for Romanian Children's Relief, Reston, VA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered for Romanian Children’s Relief in 1999 then worked for RCR from 2000-2001. This was a time of great change for children in Romania, when the foster care system was being developed and implemented. Romanian Children’s Relief started the Me & My Family Together program to support children transitioning from institutional life into foster care. While many of the foster parents had raised children, they had not encountered the types of developmental delays and stereotyped behaviours associated with early childhood institutionalization.

This is where RCR came in, offering early intervention prior to and after the children’s time in the orphanage, education and support to help foster parents understand children’s development and needs, and basically anything that would make the placement work and help the children and families. At the beginning of the school year, RCR provided children with school supplies and in the winter they provided boots and coats. And children who left the institution with no language, not walking, and not making eye contact would make rapid gains in their development, blooming from the experience of being in a loving family.

Since that time, The Me & My Family Together and the two hospital-based programs have continued to evolve and meet the needs of children. The early years last forever, becoming imprinted in children’s development. The work of Romanian Children’s Relief continues to support optimal development and quality of life for the most vulnerable, for the innocents.

Role:  Volunteer