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State group homes
October 17, 2012 - Kylie Saari
Today we had the unexpected opportunity to visit a state group home in Romania. Group homes are where kids who used to live in the orphanages ended up. The difference is that they are smaller, are actually in a house, and are run by a house mom, who cooks and cleans. There are about 10-15 kids in a home.
From what we have heard, the state homes really vary in terms of how good they are for the kids and how well the children are actually cared for, instead of just being fed and cleaned. We know many kids who live in group homes never develop strong connections with adults and never have simple things, like their birthday acknowledged.
The place we visited today absolutely would not allow pictures, although the three staff members were very kind and the house was neat and friendly. The children's artwork was displayed prominently and although the home needed some repairs, it was clearly being taken care of. There was only one child there as the rest were at school, but he was smiley and polite. He was about six years old and taught us colors and numbers in Romanian.
I was impressed by the visit, and came to realize the importance of having caregivers who truly care for those they tend to. Imagine the difference that could be made if every group home had people running it who did it for the love of the children and not because it is a job? Even though the house mom and dad were not biologically related to those kids, they were invested in the care, and it showed.
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