Amistad for Families
Child Abandonment Prevention
Confronting the root causes of violence and abuse that lead to family disintegration, Amistad for Families has the primary goal of strengthening families to prevent child abandonment to orphanages. Started in 2014, Amistad for Families is located in Tiquipaya, the same district to which Villa Amistad pertains. Families voluntarily enter the program as referrals from Child Protective Services or the Office for the Defense of Women.
Amistad for Families not only works with the child or parent who has experienced neglect or abuse, but with each member of the family unit. In collaboration with our staff, parents come to the Amistad for Families Center to create a Family Development Plan that focuses on achievable and measurable goals. Our support services include: daily tutoring and nutritious meals for children, psychological evaluations, weekly parenting classes, counseling, spiritual formation, home visits to monitor living conditions, referrals to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, assistance in finding jobs and housing, and microloans.
The average intensive intervention with a family lasts one year, followed by six months of monitoring. Amistad for Families serves 35 families concurrently and up to 60 families in a calendar year. Our staff includes: a program coordinator, community facilitator, social worker, educational psychologist, early education teacher, tutor, and cook. Since 2014, we have served over 250 families and 500 children. The program maintains an approximately 70% success rate, defined as a family who meets at least 85% of their personalized family development goals. Not a single child from these families has subsequently entered an orphanage.
No other organization in Cochabamba works comprehensively with family members to both keep families together (Amistad for Families) and to unite biological siblings who have been abandoned (Villa Amistad).