How Are We Taking Care of Children?
Integrated child care system (7-12 ages, 30 boys)
Our Foundation has realized the Integrated Child Care System within the framework of the protocol made between our Foundation and SHÇEK, as a first in the country and which, in theory exists in state homes but cannot be practiced under the consultancy of Prof. Ümran Tözün, Chairman of Child Psychiatry Department; Çapa Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Şaltuk Dönmez, Child Psychiatrist and Stephen Bray, Social Services Specialist. Our care system is practiced by specialists determining and following up specified standards. For individuals having a normal childhood, their developments are followed up and recorded by their parents. However for children with no or broken families, their health, development and education records have to be kept in writing because such people are temporary in such a child’s life and vital mistakes can be made in case this information is not transferred to the next person responsible. In the system we propose, we have assigned different people in various specialties the work of a mother, because a mother who will stay with the child cannot be found, in other words, work that a normal mother would do, for example the follow up of the child’s health, his/her school success, help with school work, taking the child to the doctor. We hope the meet the service of a service provided by a mother with the services of people specialized different tasks such as a nurse and a study teacher. For this reason we see the employment of specialized personnel in the homes not as a luxury but as a need.

In our system we evaluate the development of the children in meeting three kinds of needs, namely physical, psychological and educational. For physical needs such as eating, clothing, heating, body and building cleanliness, health expenses, the care mother/cook (night and day workers), driver, cleaning personnel (night-day) and nurse are the necessary personnel. A psychologist and a psychiatrist for their psychological needs and a pedagogue and teacher are the necessary specialists for educational needs. (school materials and the pocket money given to the children are covered under this scope.) The job descriptions of the professionals to meet these needs are as follows:

Physical Development

Manager: Is assigned by SHÇEK and is the responsible authority of the home in front of official organizations. Finds the families of the children informed, visits them, carries out the investigation in need of protection, decides on the aid in cash or in kind, presents the reports he/she prepares on this matter to government offices. Organizes visits of the children in state and school holidays. Creates the family support projects together with the Foundation. Decides together with the specialists whether the child should be given to the family or not.

Caretaker mother/cook: Carry out duties that a mother would do such as the cleaning of the places the children stay and the follow up of body cleaning of the children, washing and cooking, feeding and putting children to bed.

Nurse (first step poly-clinic service): Follows up the physical and psychological health of the children, records their health records in their health files and follows up the health services of the children. Takes the sick child to the hospital and carries out the procedures regarding the state payment for their health expenditures. Trains them with skills to carry out their own health care and teaches them hygiene. Educates the child in these aspects.
Cleaning personnel: two people, one for night and one for day.

Psychological Development (Intellectual and Emotional)

Psychiatrist: Carries out work related to child and adolescent psychiatry. Conducts a given number of discussions with a given number of children each month and follows up the psychological development of the children and coordinates all personnel according to the psychological development of the child. This practice called Preventive Psychological Health is also applied for all the foundation personnel communicating with the children and psychological healths of the personnel are controlled.
Psychologist: Works part time. Carries out the necessary work in determining the trends of the child’s intellectual, psychological, abilities and inclinations of the child during the period the child stays at the home and carries our professional work for children who need special care and conducts work to solve the problems of the child. Ensures that the social, cultural and sports activities in line with the psychological developments of the children are carried out. Prepares the children to leave the home for their new lives and follows them up. Applies the in service training programs. Trains all personnel like the caretaker mother, cook, drives and guard regarding child care.

Educational Development
Pedagogue: Prepares the necessary education programs taking into account the physical, intellectual, emotional and social developments of the children and determines and obtains the materials necessary for the education. Follows up the development of the children and applies special education programs in coordination with other professionals for children that cannot show a normal development. Prepares vocational education programs. Works to have children attain good habits and teach them the rules of living in the society. Contributes to the research and investigation by documenting these and preparing the related statistics.
Teacher: Works full time. Fulfils the position of the guardian of the children. Participates in the School-Family Committee Meetings as the child’s guardian and follows up the school performances of the children. Visits their teachers, obtains information on their behavior and development in school and records this educational information. One of the primary duties of this professional is to act as the study teacher that the children can ask their questions when preparing their homework. In addition joins the trips organized during the weekends. Programs the social and cultural activities of the children.

Performance Evaluation

In the Integrated Child Care System, the system performance is followed up by physical, psychological and educational indicators. These indicators can be explained as follows:

Physical Indicators: are indicators such as age/weight, age/height ratios of the children, the health checks carried out within that month (how many children have received eyeglasses, how many children had dental controls, how many people had which illnesses or what type of a health scan was conducted).

Psychological Indicators: Are indicators that improve directly by the counseling service the children receive (average counseling hours per child). It is and important indicator covering extraordinary events such as what the child was doing previously and has stopped doing (not wetting himself/herself, not sucking his/her finger or not stealing). The workshops and seminars in the home and activities like jogging in nature are activities that contribute to the improvement of psychological indicators. The on the cob training provided to the professionals are also within the scope of this work.

Educational Indicators: Are indicators such as school, grade condition and success in lessons. For example, the children of our Edirnekapı home have made their homes the most successful home in our country in the last two years in terms of success in lessons. (Grade point average 4.33)

The Integrated Child Care System we describe in detail above is carried out under the consultancy of Prof. Dr. Ümran Tözün, Chairman of Child Psychiatry Department, Çapa Medical Faculty and with the practice of Dr. Onur Saltuk Donmez, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. You can find the principles regarding this practice below.

Basic principles in the application of preventive mental health:

The Preventive Mental Health Work Service of the Children of Our Future Foundation Edirnekapı Home is a specialization service in preventive mental health. The child mental health specialist running this service is a graduate of Faculty of Medicine and should be a specialist doctor who has completed his/her Child Mental Health Care Specialization. The voluntary interaction with the Organization’s administration and personnel is necessary. This service is a professional activity where the problems between the children and the personnel (and administrative personnel) or the problems among the personnel are taken at hand. In the center of the Mental Health activity are the administrators and personnel together with the Child Mental Health Specialist. The people responsible for the Mental Health activity are defined as the Mental Health Activity team:

  1. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
  2. Home Manager
  3. Foundation Chairman
  4. Psychologist
  5. Social Services Specialist
  6. Nurse
  7. Teachers
  8. Hope representative in work with adolescents

The personnel and managers may agree to or reject the suggestions of the Child Mental Health Specialist. One of the main principles in this activity is the confidentiality of everything talked with the child or the personnel. Within the psychiatric work the child, the family, personnel discussions, environment observations or evaluation meetings may be carried out. The Child Mental Health Specailist will serve as a specialist to conduct the mental health activities of the organization, to enable and monitor the conducting of the duties of the psychologist and the child educator (pedagogue), to develop and conduct the in service training programs to enable the increase of interest and efficiency and maximize the interest in the service, to take in hand the dynamics between the personnel, the reactions of the children to stress,  and consider their bio-psychosocial aspects of the existing systems and to enable the direction of the team in their work on mental health and to provide consultancy in solving the problems. The Child Mental Health Specialist will additionally attend the monthly ordinary meetings, supervision sessions with the personnel and the commissions to be established in crisis situations.

Areas of Mental Heath Activity

  1. Meetings with the Mental Health Team;
  2. Supervisions with the personnel;
  3. Interviews with the children;
  4. Play/living quarters observations;
  5. Family interviews;
  6. Crisis situations;
  7. Educational work and consultancy services;
  8. Planning psychological activities;