“All they need is a lot of love. Embrace, need affection. “Andresa Rodriguez Barney, 36, worries about children and young people who have been taken by the court to old age homes, separated from their families. The worker, who works at a hardware store, took on the mission of being a “professional mother” less than a year ago. She cares for nine children between the ages of 5 and 12, living with her husband Rafael Fogassa, 34, and their youngest daughter in a house in Santana neighborhood.
“Our orientation was very smooth. It’s there like our home and that’s the purpose, not to create a shelter environment. “They are the children of our hearts,” he said. In addition to liking the kids, Andresa already knew this kind of environment because her mother-in-law was an alternative educator, covering the weekend for social mothers. Now, she is looking forward to her first Mother’s Day in the role. “Throughout the week the kids have been talking about school performances and promising that they will surprise me,” he says.
Andresa will perform on the first Mother’s Day Photo: Mauro Schaefer
Raquel Elaine Wardum, 56, had this experience last year in another house in the same neighborhood, with eight young men aged 4 to 17. “It was very significant. They filled the photo area and it was very welcome,” he recalled. This year, V., 8, said he finished the card, which was dated to be delivered to Raquel. During a visit to Correio do Povo, he drew Social Mother, while L., 4, created “Ray and a Dinosaur.” Raquel said that on such a special date, it is common for those who welcome to promote surprises. “It simply came to our notice then. Not everything is a flower, but it’s great “, she says, who has been a social mother for over a year.
Raquel was a social educator at the shelter and an alternative educator at the nursing home. However, since she was a child, at about 12 years old, she lived with the idea that there is always room for one more in a mother’s heart. “My mother was a surrogate mother at the time of Fabem (the defunct State Foundation for the Welfare of Minors, which gave birth to the Foundation for Socio-Educational Aid, Face), which is different from what it is now. We had eight children. He ended up in the custody of two people, my brothers, “he said.
Raquel has family experience in the reception area Photo: Mauro Schaefer
Vanessa, 37, Jefferson, 31, and Gisele’s mother, 27, said she had the support of her family. “My children appreciate my affection. “They say they never imagined I would be directly involved,” he said. Together with her husband, Verlau Iba Vedum, 74, she lives in a two-story home, with a patio inside, ensuring a place for children to play between their activities, going out and going to school.
There is no identification of the accommodation where the nursing home works. These are homes that want to get as close to the family environment as possible. Children study in different schools and shifts, depending on age, they have limitations and limitations. Their childhood and youth are mentioned by the court and in addition to the residential couple they are accompanied by a technical coordinator, a social worker and a psychologist. In Porto Alegre, the Social Assistance and Citizenship Foundation (FASC) maintains more than 30 nursing homes. Thirteen of these, including Andresa and Raquel, are in partnership with Abrigo Joao Paolo II.
Camilla Monteiro Martinez, 40, technical coordinator at the Abrigo Joao Paolo II shelter, explained that children who have been placed in a nursing home can be returned to their families or adopted, depending on the court’s decision. “Children who come to be raised for a variety of reasons, such as neglect, abuse, sexual abuse, parents who use drugs or parents with mental health problems. When all possibilities for keeping the child with the biological family are exhausted, he moves to a protective shelter, ”he explained.
Coordinators report that even after young people leave home, either because they have reached the age of 18, because of adoption, or because they have returned to their biological family, the bond with social mothers continues. “We see a lot of nice messages from social fathers on social media on dates like Mother’s Day. There are many who go to adopt and keep in touch. Adopted families are very grateful to them for taking care of their children. ”
One of the reasons for this is the exchange of mutual love between them and the children. “There’s no way to keep your heart and treat it like a job,” Andresa says. “Either you go in with your head or you don’t. You have to have a lot of focus and responsibility. ” , Give me your Netflix password (laughs) ‘”.
More than 33,000 are welcome
According to the Unified Social Assistance System (SUAS) census, more than 33,000 children and adolescents are sheltered, cared for and protected from their families in various forms of reception in Brazil. There are 3,181 reception establishments across more than two thousand municipalities in the national territory. A total of 260 houses.
Such receptions are preferred for children and adolescents with a medium or long-term view of the reception, and the environment should interact with a family routine, in favor of interacting with the family and the local community. Each unit can have a maximum of 10 hostesses. The role of the social mother is regulated by law 7,664 / 87, providing labor rights such as leave, weekly leave and FGTS. Minimum age is 25 years.
There are more than 33,000 foster carers in Brazil. Photo: Mauro Schaefer