Alternative care is based on the concept of a family approach for the short-term and long-term care of abandoned children and children without parental care. The SOS program offers direct services in alternative family care through three different units:
Short-term infant care “Dielli”– is an integrated part of the existing system for the protection of abandoned children in Kosovo, and also one of the few alternatives for providing care for abandoned infants. It is the first project established in Kosovo by SOS Kinderdorf International as an answer to the growing need for quality care for abandoned children and infants. It offers family care for 24 infants aged 0-3 at a time.
Based on the principle that a child’s primary development reaches its maximum potential within a family environment, the SOS Programme offers alternative family-based care for abandoned infants, who are referred to this unit by the Centre for Social Work and State University Clinic, in order for them to be placed in temporary care until a more permanent solution can be found.
Long term care in SOS Family– offers children without parental care a home and a family, preparing them for an independent life. The first family was created in 2004. SOS Family Concept is known as family-based care for the long-term care for children without parental care. SOS family consists of an SOS Mother, who is entrusted with six children to care for, while SOS Aunt helps the family. Currently, in SOS programmes, there are 6 SOS families with a total of 33 children.
Psycho-pedagogical team of SOS Children’s Village– which consists of pedagogue, physiologist, social worker and pediatrician, offers support and counseling for the child core care staff, children and youth in a family-based care. Youth Home and Semi-Independent Living Program -are a continuance of the SOS Family unit and provide care and services for children and youth over the age of 14. The final aim is for the young people to start preparing for independent living, from the emotional separation from SOS program up to professional qualification and self-sustainability. This center, through the qualified staff support, enables SOS young people to take their first steps towards independence. After the Youth Home, young people pass through to the three year semi-independent living program, where they physically detach from the SOS programmes and start independent life with the support of the programmes at every step.
Program foresees the phase of a complete independence which aims monitoring progress of adults, providing counseling and support in crises situations. In extraordinary cases, financial support is provided. Contacts and relationships with SOS family continue. Currently, there are no youth in this program.