In a country trying desperate to catch up with the rest of Europe, a crucial population is being quickly left behind. Since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, Ukraine’s at-risk youth population has grown exponentially. The seemingly overnight transition to democracy and a free market economy brought about much turmoil and massive amounts of unemployment. Harsh financial conditions lead to millions of jobless adults, who, sadly, are taking their frustration and powerlessness out on their children. Substance abuse, domestic violence and neglect have forced many children onto the streets or into the hands of the state.
This is where we came in. In 1999, we opened our doors in hopes of giving these children the chance to have a real childhood. Father’s Care intervenes in situations where children have been neglected or abandoned, often at the request of the Ukrainian Ministry of Family and Children. In a society that often stigmatizes orphans and social orphans, we warmly accept each child and work to socially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically rehabilitate in a manner that is neither overwhelming nor judgmental. When the time is right and parents or other family members are ready, we carefully work to restore broken homes and place children back in the hands of their biological relatives. If this is not feasible, we work tirelessly to coordinate an adoptive setting where they can experience the love of family.