Fifty three of Amur region’s specialists learned new ways of dealing with families in crisis

25 march 2022

Svobodny hosted a workshop arranged by SOS Children's Villages dedicated to the topic of "Prerequisites of Professional Success in Social Work with Families and Children". This training session organized by the Russian Committee of SOS Children's Villages with the support of SIBUR and Amur Oblast’s Ministry of Social Care was held on March 21-23 at the Bardagon resort facility situated in the vicinity of Amur Oblast’s city of Svobodny. The workshop’s speakers who happen to be experienced practitioners themselves shared their new methods and techniques they use when handling cases of families in crisis. Natalya Kiseleva, Amur Oblast’s Minister of Social Care offered the following welcoming remarks:

Being far removed from Russia’s heartland regions, our local practitioners cannot really observe firsthand the positive experiences of others dealing with the matters that we are all so concerned about. That is why we treasure so much an opportunity to take part in such master classes and workshops, attend training sessions in other parts of Russia, and enjoy the support of these first-rate experts as part of projects such as these.

The minister’s remarks were echoed by Elena Snezhko, Head of SIBUR's Formula for Good Deeds social investment program:

It's great to see you face-to-face. Thank you so much for coming. One of the key elements of our program is and has always been to develop new competencies that open up new opportunities for all. We are happy that these events thar are organized with SIBUR’s support really resonate with our attendees and gather large audiences. I would like to thank you for everything you have been doing and for the support you have been providing to the most vulnerable groups in their times of greatest need. Thank you for your work, your caring attitude and your involvement.
The three-day event was attended by 53 experts from 26 social care institutions from all the districts of Amur Oblast. Thanks to the workshop’s friendly and warm atmosphere, the participants were eager to share their experiences and carried on their discussions even during breaks and after the end of the main part of the program.

The meeting’s face-to-face format gave everyone an opportunity to participate fully in the discussions, master classes and hands-on exercises led by the four speakers from SOS Children's Villages: Olga Lipnitskaya, Olesya Yashkina, Irina Zinchenko , and Anna Sergeyeva who are all instructors with vast practical experience of dealing with families in crisis and socially vulnerable families.

My impressions are nothing but positive. It seems to me that we are at a new stage in social work’s evolution. There are a lot of new trends and new areas of involvement. One of them is working with children at the municipal level, closer to where they live: this is the kind of future that will help us change the social situation in the country. Hence, the importance of engaging social workers on the ground as something that will allow us to achieve greater well-being and make a social impact, Olga Lipnitskaya, head of the Child Abandonment Prevention and Family Strengthening Unit of the Russian Committee for SOS Children's Villages, noted.

Most importantly, the event gave attending colleagues the opportunity to meet face-to-face, something that had been deprived of until recently, due to COVID-related restrictions.

The workshop is, of course, very useful. This is the second time I've been to Olga's workshop and I keep getting filled with so many positive emotions. They offer us a lot of useful information at the workshop and I would recommend it to anyone. I will definitely share with my colleagues back home everything that I have learned here: the new techniques, new methods, and other useful tricks of the trade. I will definitely use all of them in my practice, Natalia Lizunova, a Social Work Specialist with Svobodny’s Lada Social Services Center, commented.

Svobodny was the first city to host a face-to-face workshop in 2022. The next one will be held in Nizhny Novgorod in April. Two more face-to-face events will be taking place in Voronezh and in Amur Oblast’s Blagoveshchensk later in the fall. In addition to workshops held throughout the year, there are also several very useful webinars that will be offered as part of the program: detailed information about the classes’ starting dates and times can be found on the project’s webpage at

*The Russian Committee of SOS Children's Villages is an international charity organization that supports orphans, children left without parental care, and children in danger of losing their families.

The educational program co-organized by SOS Children's Villages and SIBUR is aimed at preventing social orphanhood in the cities where the company operates. SIBUR has been a partner of the project since 2019.