Nizhny Novgorod hosted a workshop under the auspices of a project implemented jointly by SOS Children's Villages and SIBUR

3 june 2022

On May 31 and June 1, Nizhny Novgorod hosted a workshop for psychologists and social counselors focusing on "Prerequisites of professional success in social work with families and children". The workshop’s attendees discussed the use of various assessment tools for choosing appropriate social techniques when providing support to families raising children with disabilities while also learning how to use art therapy when dealing with adults and children in crisis representing families from various risk groups.

Supported by Nizhegorodskaya Oblast’s Ministry of Social Policy, the workshop featured such speakers as Dr Olga Lipnitskaya, Head of the Department of Prevention of Child Abandonment and Family Strengthening at the Russian Committee of SOS Children's Villages, Ph.D. in Pedagogy, and Irina Zinchenko, Head of Alternative Care Programs at the Russian Committee of SOS Children's Villages, an expert specializing on social engagements with families and children.

This is the fourth time that our workshop is being held in Nizhny Novgorod, and we can state that a professional community of experts who are already using our techniques and following our approaches is growing and getting stronger. Both our old friends and new acquaintances alike share our views and our mission, and, because of this, I hope that we can facilitate implementation of our most innovative methods to make sure that there are more happy families and children in this world, Olga Lipnitskaya noted.

During the first day of the workshop, the focus was on working with families raising children with disabilities and on issues of domestic violence. Guided by the project’s experts, workshop attendees discussed how to recognize and prevent potential child abuse. The feedback that was given indicates that Nizhny Novgorod practitioners find this topic to be extremely relevant, and that the knowledge they have gained will be put to good use in their work in the nearest future.

The second day was dedicated to art therapy. To enable participating practitioners to better feel and understand the principle of art therapy, one of the speakers asked them to work through their own most innate feelings and problems. In response, the participants made drawings and shared their very personal feelings quite enthusiastically as they knew that anything mentioned at the workshop would be protected under the rules of confidentiality endorsed by all participants at the outset of the session.

All in all, this project is simply great! When I attended the workshop for the first time, I didn't think there would be a follow-up of any kind. I just thought that, well, they would just hold one event and that would be the end of it. But I was proven wrong! There has been support outside the workshop: you could ask follow-on questions, participate in online meetings, get help with preparing your art projects. I don’t think I had ever experienced anything like that before! Katerina Chistyakova, a psychologist with Secondary School No. 3 and a regular participant of the project's workshops, commented.

Nizhny Novgorod has become the second city to host a workshop on "Prerequisites of professional success in social work with families and children " in 2022. Earlier in March, an in-person three-day meeting was held in Svobodny, Amur Oblast. Later in the fall, face-to-face workshops will also be held in Blagoveshchensk and Voronezh. The project’s details can be found at this link.