Putting Children First and Keeping Families Together
It is an honor for NPH Guatemala to be invited to two workshops hosted by the National Adoption Council.
July 12, 2018 - Guatemala
NPH Guatemala has played a key role in a series of productive workshops focused on children’s rights and family reintegration. These have taken place over the past few months and continue on into the month of July.
On May 15th, NPH Guatemala launched the second International NPH OneFamily Workshop, welcoming the participation of representatives from UNICEF, Latin America Foster Care Network, International Child Development Initiatives, Guatemalan National Adoption Council (CNA), and NPH staff representing six different countries. Presenters shared best practices from their work, as well as the challenges and opportunities that they see in the realm of child protection systems, family reintegration and family strengthening.
Staff from NPH Guatemala and NPH Honduras shared their experiences of NPH OneFamily, a program that ensures long-term, holistic support to children who want to be, and are able to be, reintegrated with their families after receiving care from NPH. The program engages children and their families in a comprehensive, child-centric, and compassionate process.
Orlando Ramos, National Director of NPH Guatemala, comments, "We started this program because we wanted to expand and strengthen family connection programs that we already had established, and also support other organizations that want to learn from our experience of how important these connections are for the integral development of children and adolescents."
CNA Deputy Director General Isolda Flores expressed her gratitude and commended the work of NPH Guatemala’s family reintegration program in considering the need for alternative care. "We recognize it is a positive change that we need to replicate and strengthen in the other residential homes of Guatemala."
One month later on June 15th, the CNA invited NPH Guatemala to participate as a main speaker in their training workshop "Alternatives for Restitution of Human Rights" addressed to 36 representatives of children’s homes in the departments of Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango.
"We were honored by the invitation of the National Adoption Council to share the NPH experience of a child-centric approach to family reintegration," shares Christopher Hoyt, NPHI Chief Operating Officer.
Hoyt continues to explain the fundamental role played by private homes in the Guatemalan child protection system, which care for approximately 4,000 children, and the challenges present in their work.
“Throughout the training, representatives from the care organizations engaged thoughtfully and posed the same difficult questions we have asked throughout the process of program development. We were delighted that they designed realistic actions to improve their own reintegration processes and we have begun exploring further spaces where our multi-disciplinary teams could provide secondary levels of support. Needless to say, it is incredibly fulfilling to witness our exceptional NPH staff assist their colleagues at peer organizations in improving our child protection system in Guatemala.”
NPH Guatemala has already been asked by individual homes to provide more follow-up support on specific aspects of their work, such as life planning and family awareness. As an additional result of NPH´s successful contributions to the workshop, CNA invited NPH to participate in a second workshop on July 13th, which will be addressed to representatives of 23 homes in the northeast and west of the country.
This partnership and training initiatives led by CNA and NPH have fostered fruitful exchanges of ideas and best practices among many care organizations in Guatemala. NPH is honored to be part of the conversation, and to hold a leadership role in sharing lessons and experiences that benefit other organizations, and ultimately, help make an impact on the rights of children and youths across the nation.