Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Emergency Relief

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Emergency Relief (202nd report)
Foster parent training workshop in Kesennuma

[17 July 2013, KESENNUMA, JAPAN]

© Japan Committee for UNICEF
This training workshop was jointly hosted by the Kesennuma City Civil Children's Council and the Kesennuma City Social Welfare Council.

On 17 July at the Kesennuma City Community Hall, the Japan Committee for UNICEF (JCU) and Japan National Council of Child Family Support Center held a training workshop on social care and foster children for social workers active in Kesennuma City and the general public. The workshop was part of a greater joint initiative being conducted by JCU and its partner.

Foster parents and social care are topics that do not normally attract a great deal of attention. At this training workshop, which was jointly hosted by the Kesennuma City Civil Children's Council and the Kesennuma City Social Welfare Council, Shinichi Fukushima, Deputy Director of the Kesennuma Chapter of the Miyagi Child Consultation Center, provided an easy-to-understand explanation of the foster home system. For various reasons, social awareness about foster home systems that provide social protection to children who have lost a parent or guardian is low. Furthermore, few families are able to accept foster children, with the current rate falling below 14%. The Deputy Director spoke about the current climate and challenges facing the foster home system, including the strong current trend of reliance on facilities for care.

Kuniyoshi Oe of the Miyagi Prefecture Foster Parent Association and Masateru Nishioka of the Sendai City Foster Parent Association also talked about their experiences as foster parents. They shared their concrete visions for the foster care system and ways to support foster parents.

The Japan Committee for UNICEF has partnered with the Japan National Council of Child Family Support Center to hold a foster child camp in August 2013 with the objective of providing foster parents an opportunity to rest and reenergize. This camp is part of foster parent assistance campaigns being implemented in Miyagi and Iwate. In September, at the International Foster Care Organization (IFCO) World Conference to be held in Osaka, JCU will hold a special symposium with the participation of local government officials and specialist organization partners active in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima to report on our campaign activities and hold a discussion about the challenges faced by foster parents of social protection as seen through this project. At a breakout session of the IFCO World Conference JCU is also scheduled to present about its foster family assistance campaign underway in Sendai, Iwate.

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