International experts gather to help children in foster care

International experts gather to help children in foster care

Problems with the foster care system are worldwide.

by Dr. John DeGarmo

Dr. John DeGarmo describes how child welfare is being examined on a global scale.

The conference room was abuzz with the sound of various languages. People from across Europe, and around the globe, were introducing themselves to each other, trying to understand each other, despite cultural and language differences. Yet, common ground was quickly found, as each was there for one central purpose; to help children in need, and to bring awareness to the child welfare.

Problems with the foster care system are worldwide.

Child welfare and foster care experts from across the world gathered together by the shores of Marathon, Greece, outside of Athens, as they took part in an historical, international adoption and foster care conference. Led by the Roots Research Center in Greece, these global experts focused upon one issue; the human rights of children around the globe during the two-day conference, held in the last week of May, 2017.

It was both so very inspiring and informative. To be sure, I came away from the conference gaining great insight into how the foster care and adoption process works in other parts of the world; insight that will I will be able to share with others throughout the United States.

The theme of the first day centered around adoption, with foster care focused upon during the second day. Speakers from Croatia, India, Romania, Belgium, Norway, Greece, the Netherlands, Geneva, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Hungary, Estonia, were featured. I was the sole speaker to speak on two separate occasions and had the opportunity to both share my story as a foster and adoptive parent, as well as explain how the foster care system works in the United States. Without a doubt, it was a distinct honor to have been a part of this conference.

In many developing nations across the globe, poor economic situations leave little financial assistance for government assistance. Lack of available health care, adoption organizations, and governmental aid for families and children are the reality. As a result, foster care agencies are not in place, resulting in many displaced children. Foster care in these parts of the world is much more informal and often unregulated by a State agency. Often, children are placed with family members or even orphanages.

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