Working with families to make children stronger
Zefie is a care-focused organisation that provides individual, tailor-made support to strengthen children and families. Their work falls into three main areas:
- Care in crisis: Zefie recruit and train foster families to provide emergency foster care placements for children. They also respond to the arrival of unaccompanied minor refugees.
- Longer-term care: Zefie have a number of houses in residential areas where teenagers live together in small groups, with a dedicated support worker. For older teenagers and young people Zefie organise flatshares and provide supervision to help them live independently.
- Outreach care: providing support to children, young people and families where they are.
They also have an intensive care programme for 6-12 year olds who have experienced trauma. Children are cared for in a rural setting where the focus is on animal-supported therapy.
Zefie’s ultimate goal is for children to be able to go back to their family of origin. As such, they believe it is essential for children in care to maintain regular contact with their family of origin, whenever possible.
Zefie are also leaders in supporting children who arrive in Germany as refugees, from places such as the Middle East and North Africa. Many of Zefie’s staff are originally from the same countries so are able to communicate with children in their own language, providing vital support and understanding when they first arrive in Germany.
Zefie have a strong focus on research; recording and sharing the learning from their work to constantly improve the services they provide. They have also developed a unique methodology for working with children and adolescents with the most complex needs, which they call NIU (Nothing Is Impossible).
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