The Transition, Coaching, and Mentoring (TCM) department of the CRC recently partnered with the Maria Charity Foundation to help with family tracing. The Maria Charity Foundation is an organization in Sierra Leone dedicated to helping children who have dropped out of school and are living on the street. They were operating an orphanage with 15 children in its facility, but after attending the TCM's Rising Tides and CSI training here in Bo, they requested a one on one training on family tracing. The purpose of the training, which was done in June, was to acquire knowledge and strategies used in conducting family tracing as this is the next step of intervention in their program and how to adequately process and use the information for family reunification. Then, this July, the TCM went with Maria Charity Foundation staff to do their first tracing efforts.
Family tracing is the process of locating families with the goal of reuniting children and placing them back in their families of origin. Once a family is traced, an assessment is done in the home and in the community to determine if it will be a safe and healthy environment for the child. Then the work can begin of preparing the child for reintegration into the family. Family tracing is an important part of the CRC's work, as many children are separated from their parents and living on the street or in institutions. The CRC has gained a lot of expertise in family tracing, and now is able to teach other organizations how to do this.
On July 15, the TCM Department worked with the Maria Charity Foundation to identify families of 2 children in their program. Moving from one village to the next, a lot of data was collected on the family of the child. In some cases, the exact location of the child's family was not known but a lot of contacts were made to community stakeholders for more information on the location of the family. The social workers from Maria Charity Foundation learned a lot from the TCM team and requested for more training in family tracing.
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