When staying with the family is not in a child or young person’s best interest, in line with our purpose we provide them with quality care and support adapted to their individual needs, particularly
- family-like care,
- foster family care,
- supervised independent living service.
In all alternative care options we support, the Foundation is guided by the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care for Children.
Youth care is an integral part of all our alternative care services. Young people can grow up in all forms of alternative care provided by our organization as described above (family-like care, foster family care, supervised independent living). The Foundation is the only organization in the Republic of Armenia which provides care to youth aged 18-23. Activities aimed at youth development emphasize preparation of young people for independent life, professional orientation and further employment.
Family like care
SOS Armenia started provision of family like care after the devastating Spitak earthquake in 1988. Due to its special methodology, the organization ensures safe, stable and supportive family environment for 33 years, where qualified adult caregivers called SOS parents in Kotayk and Tavush regions offer children and youth in difficult life circumstances aged 3-18 years old, a reliable and trustful relationship. They take on the role of parent, caring for children and young people, in an autonomous, family-like environment and receive professional support. The organization provides 24/7 long and short-term (crisis care, up to 6 months) care service.
Foster family care
In the Republic of Armenia, child care in a foster family is organized in accordance with the RA Government Decree N 751-N as of June 13, 2019 on "Selection and registration of persons who wish to become foster parents, organization of child care and upbringing in a foster family, learning, qualification and training of persons who wish to become foster parents, supervision of foster care realized in foster family, procedure and amount of monthly payments of funds to foster family, approving a template of contracts with foster caregivers and model forms of foster care contracts and revoking the decision N 459-N of the Government of the Republic of Armenia as of May 8, 2008".
As a result of the long-term cooperation between the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia and "SOS Children's Villages" Armenian Charity Foundation, as well as due to eminent advocacy efforts, Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry and the Foundation on January 11, 2023 aimed at promoting establishment, expansion and development of the foster care institution in the Republic of Armenia, including providing of needs-based support to foster families through pooling of efforts and resources.
Within the frameworks of the above-mentioned MoU, four SOS families in Kotayk and Tavush regions have been transformed into foster families. Foundation also provides services to already existing foster parents and foster children/youths in Kotayk and Tavush regions.
Supervised Independent Living
Following the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care for Children, supervised independent living arrangements “are designed for young people in transition from a formal care setting to an independent life in the community”. In general, this service offers less intensive care to young people aged 18-23 years old compared to the services described above and can be considered as the “final phase” of alternative care provided by SOS Children’s Villages. Support and setting can take different forms according to the needs and circumstances of the young person and gradually decrease with the young person’s increasing maturity and autonomy.