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From Orphanage to Foster Care: How The System In Romania Works

Posted by Cherish Germaine on 6/13/16 12:10 PM

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In Romania, you'll be making a difference in more than just one way. 

Make your dream of volunteering in an orphanage a reality — come fill out an application to serve abroad with ILP!

When you volunteer with ILP in Romania, you'll be serving in an orphanage. They have enough staff to take care of the needs of the children, but with our volunteers, the children are able to receive the attention, love, and interaction that they need to truly thrive.

The workers are often very busy with feeding, changing, working with the children on their goals, and taking care of "household" things, and the job of the volunteers is to love, play with, and spend quality time with the children. Ummm ... sign me up! 


Along with loving attention, our volunteers also help the children with their goals. Each child has goals they are working on, which will help them develop according to their abilities and our volunteers are encouraged to work on these things with them. Some kids are working on sharing toys, holding toys, sitting up — and so much more.

Most of the children at the orphanage need a lot of medical care and supervision. They have either small children with health issues or children with severe disabilities. The staff at the orphanage are there to provide housing and the recovery they need to develop well while they are at the orphanage. 

The ultimate goal of the orphanage is to help the children develop while they are there. Some of the orphans may even develop and reach their goals enough to be able to go into a foster family.  

The children that are usually placed in foster families do not need medical care and supervision. It is good to note that at the orphanage, they do not set goals just so the kids will be more likely to go into a foster family. They set the goals so they can do their best to help each child develop while they are there. 

Wondering why there aren't any pictures of the sweet kids in Romania? Click here to learn more. 

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A Little More About Foster Care 

The orphanage isn't in charge of finding foster families for the children. The Child Protective Services (CPS) are the ones that do everything they can to find families, train them, see if they can take care of the children, and place the children in the foster families. The employees at the orphanage recommend children to go to a foster family, but the CPS makes the final decision.  Before the CPS places a child in a foster family, they do everything they can to try and reintegrate the child back with their family if possible. 
Many times once a kid has been chosen to go into foster care they move out of the orphanage and into the "apartments", which serve kind of like a half-way house to help the children get even more prepared for living with a foster family. In the apartments, our volunteers are there to help provide the love and attention each of the kids crave. 
Many past ILP Romania volunteers have expressed that it is so bittersweet when kids get chosen to go into foster care. It's sad saying goodbye to the kids, but so happy that they have been able to reach their goals and now have the opportunity to live with a family.

Hear From A Volunteer 

Braelyn, an ILP Volunteer in Romania is currently serving the children in the apartments. Recently, she experienced the bitter sweet feelings that coincide with a child leaving to go live in a foster family.

"One of the two year olds is particularly bright and especially loves learning new things: colors, animals, animal sounds, numbers, etc. He also adores music; it’s the cutest thing. He makes up songs about everything, quickly learns songs I teach him in both English and Romanian, and the second he hears music he drops what he’s doing and starts dancing."

With the help of Braelyn's service and other volunteers, happily this young boy was able to be placed with a foster family.

"I am so happy here. Serving these kids and trying to use every minute teaching them good things and having fun and making sure they feel loved and important is the most rewarding thing. It’s beautiful how readily they love us and let us into their lives. These kids definitely have my heart."

Our volunteers in Romania really do have the best job, loving and making the children feel important. Teo the Native coordinator told me, "The love, attention, and time that the volunteers give to the children is invaluable. I am so grateful for their service!"


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Topics: Europe, All About ILP + Volunteering Abroad, Orphanage + Humanitarian

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