In 2009-2010, Coram International conducted a study tour for Moscow’s Children’s Ombudsman and delegates to review quality standards, legislation and policy relating to the protection of children. From the review, the delegates aimed to empower Russia’s at risk children and youth to defend their rights and overcome social disadvantage. In particular, the tour concentrated on developing child participation in care settings and improving standards in alternative care. The group visited children’s homes and children’s charities to learn about and evaluate how children’s voices are heard in the care system. Coram International also drafted a guidance document on international standards and best practices in listening to children in care, focusing on child participation mechanisms for children in alternative care, and taking particular note of best practices in facilitating children’s decision making and the protection/promotion of the child’s right to be heard.
In 2002-2004, Coram International managed a project in St. Petersburg that sought to develop a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approach to delivering support and services to bereaved children to enable them to remain in a family environment rather than in institutional care. The project was carried out in partnership with Essex County Council, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. The project focused on the development of these services in the eight hospices in St. Petersburg. In addition, Coram International trained front line workers in providing grief support and bereavement counselling.