In early November 2014, social services in a Bulgarian town received a call from the maternity ward at a local hospital, informing them that a new mother had decided to give up her baby to an institution.
A talk with a Lumos-financed social worker revealed the true motivation behind the mother’s decision: unemployed and desperate, she had separated from the child’s father, who had moved abroad. She was currently living with and financially dependent on her parents, both of whom were firmly against her raising the child.
Lumos provided the mother with support, and advised her on the services available to her, specifically a mother and baby unit that could house her for six months and which offered counselling and parenting courses. When she realised that support and other options were available to her, she made the decision to keep her baby boy. The following day, Lumos organised medical tests and transport to the facility, and both mother and baby moved in to the family unit.
While she was in the unit, the social worker continued to visit her family. She talked with them about the life the child would have if it grew up in an institution, and the negative impact of forcing the mother to abandon her child. The family missed their daughter, but still had financial concerns about supporting the baby, given the unpredictable work schedule of her father.
Thankfully, this family’s luck was about to change. Four weeks after his birth, his grandfather received a more secure job offer. With the addition of this financial security, and thanks to the support of the community services, both mother and baby were able to move back home with their family - just in time for Christmas.
She talked with them about the life the child would have if it grew up in an institution, and the negative impact of forcing the mother to abandon her child.
Safeguarding Children by Monitoring and Improving Standards of Social Care
Giving children in institutions a voice
Drivers of Institutionalisation
8 million children are in institutions
All Children Count, But Not All Children Are Counted: Your Voice Helps
A Visit Back In Time
Lumos in Greece in 2017
Supporting Vulnerable Families