Foster Care

There is no safety net for children whose parents can no longer care for them.  These children end up on the streets, in orphanages, or bouncing around to whatever family member can care for them for a period of time.  Stability is unknown to these children, they are usually not in school, and they are at high risk for a life of prostitution or drug addiction.  Some have attachment disorders from being “bouncing babies” – going from one moderately interested caregiver to another.  Families In Vietnam strives to support each child in a loving, long-term family environment, generally with extended relatives, until their parents are again able to care for them.

These are just a few of the children who have been supported in family foster care through Families In Vietnam.  A few of their stories are below the gallery (click on any photo to see a larger image).  Images are not paired with the stories to protect their identities.

T., M., T., and B.

T., M., T., and B. were found by our staff begging on the streets of Hanoi.  This family of 4 girls lost their father to AIDS (due to IV heroin use) and their mother was no longer caring for them.  Their elderly grandmother made an effort, but was unable to provide for them.  We have done everything in our power to provide long-term stability and love to these precious children.

 

M., T, and H.

M., T, and H. lost their father, a beggar in Hanoi, to cardiovascular disease.  Their mother received a 7-year prison sentence for dealing heroin, mostly to college students in Hanoi.  We were able to find an uncle in another province to care for them with financial support from FIV.  Their lives have been very difficult.  We dearly love these children.

 

Where are their parents?

Often they just don’t come home one night. When a parent is arrested, it is difficult to find out where they are until someone happens to see them when visiting another person in the “homeless camp”, “heroin camp”, or jail and reports back on where they are. A woman who re-marries often abandons her children, as they are culturally unwelcome with the new husband. Heroin addicts often give up on caring for their children. Some of their parents have died from AIDS, cancer, or complications of heroin addiction.

 

N.

N.’s father is mentally disabled due to a motorbike accident and her mother left the family to work in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).  With financial support from FIV, another family in our program which is very stable was able to take care of her until her mother finally returned.  They built a cute little loft in their small home just for her.  Unfortunately, her mother is now in prison for dealing heroin and her father is doing his best to care for her.  Her teenage sisters chose to take care of themselves, and in the absence of parents, one was raped by a stranger in their home and the other became pregnant and married at the age of 16.  We hope that N. will have a better future through the commitment of FIV staff and sponsors.

 

T.K.

T.K.’s father died of AIDS due to heroin use and his mother has been unable to care for him.  After being in and out of the “heroin camp” herself, she has lost interest in contact with her son.  It appears that she has now fallen into prostitution.  Although this is very hard on a teenage boy, T.K. is in a loving, supportive environment.

 

S. and H.A.

S. and H.A. have been in and out of family foster care and back and forth to their elderly grandmother’s rural home.  Their mother has been unable to consistently provide for the boys and has been arrested for illegal peddling.  FIV has been able to step in to provide a stable home when the boys have nowhere else to turn.

 

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P.

P.’s father has been in prison for most of her life.  Her mother did her best to care for the three children by herself for many years, but eventually fell into heroin use.  P.’s mother has been in and out of the “heroin camp” and is now in jail for delivering heroin to her boyfriend, who was in jail himself.

 

T.

T.’s mother was a second wife and her father did not acknowledge T.  Sadly, T. was treated as a household servant and was malnourished.  Her mother was happy to see her move to a family where she could go to school and have a better future.  Moving T. to an extended family foster home has made a tremendous difference in her life.  She is now a very happy little girl and a successful student.