“BUDDYing” – a new form of high impact mentoring for the most vulnerable?
WORKSHOP LED BY LUCIA KOSSÁROVÁ
Lucia Kossárová is a co-founder of PROVIDA Foundation and works as an expert in the field of quality improvement and impact measurement for projects focused on children and young people – mainly the BUDDY program and the Orphan Opportunity Fund. She is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable, especially children, and the quality of social services more generally. She studied social sciences at University College Utrecht, International Development at John Hopkins SAIS, and obtained her PhD in Health Policy from the London School of Economics. She worked for the Council of Europe, the World Bank, and later as a consultant on issues of health and social development in various countries around the world. Kossárová also worked as a senior researcher for an independent think-tank, Nuffield Trust, in the field of health and social development. For more information see www.yourbuddy.sk; www.provida.sk/en.
“BUDDYing” is a social innovation, a deeper form of long-term mentoring based on attachment theory to meet the needs of high-risk institutionalised children. It is a complement to the foster care system. The BUDDY expert team finds, matches, trains and supports volunteers so they can provide 1:1 individual long-term (min. 3 years) support for abandoned children who are not growing up in their own families. The safe and trusting relationship has a healing effect on traumatised children and helps them trust adults again and build healthy relationships, which is essential for integration into society. Once the child and volunteer formed a trusting relationship, the volunteer can begin to actively support and help the child to grow in the most important aspect of his/her life. The volunteers help meet the child’s unique social and emotional needs and, Using the Outcome StarTM tool, support the child towards resilience and independence across eight key areas. A BUDDY volunteer is often the only contact of an institutionalised child’s life with the outside world, the only person who is not paid for being with them. Our vision is that every vulnerable child not growing up in their own family has at least one person they can trust, and can lead an independent life with dignity. We are evaluating the impact of BUDDY internally and also setting up long-term external evaluations (e.g. exper. design led by Dr.Raposa, Fordham University). The intervention is based in Slovakia – currently in 4 regions (10 institutions). We are planning to scale further and also working on achieving financial sustainability. BUDDY was founded in 2006, the current model is in place since 2015. We have a team of 15-20, and by the end of the year should have up to 100 children and young people in the program with a BUDDY. We are also preparing to scale to other countries, possibly as a social franchise.
Goal of the session:
To share our intervention model, lessons learned, and our research & evaluation approaches. BUDDY tries to bring together the best of science, research, business and social sector principles.