Sixth international “Every Child Deserves a Family” forum attracts hundreds of child development specialists
The sixth international “Every Child Deserves a Family” forum, which is organised on an annual basis by the Naked Heart Foundation for leading child development experts, NGO workers, families raising children with disabilities and foster/adoptive families, took place in Moscow from 2 to 5 October 2017.
Watch the forum lectures and master classes:
This year’s forum focused on the incredibly important but rarely discussed topic of evidence-based support methods. Over the course of four days, the participants and leading international specialists discussed what kind of support programmes exist for people with special needs, which ones are truly effective and which are not useful, or even do harm. There are a huge number of support programmes in existence, but in order for them to be implemented and certified, their effectiveness must be proven through serious scientific research. Otherwise, it is very difficult to establish whether a programme will be worth the time and resources spent on it.
Asya Zalogina, President of the Naked Heart Foundation:“This year, the entire forum programme met a single criterion – we only presented support programmes that focused on evidence-based methods. The demand for new, up-to-date knowledge from our community of child development professionals, parents of children with special needs and foster/adoptive families is huge and is growing year on year. And we want to satisfy that demand. The use of evidence-based practices guarantees that only proven, modern methods of working with children with special needs will be used, thus allowing us to avoid repeating other people’s mistakes and “reinventing the wheel”, and ultimately enables the development of a modern, effective support programme with minimal costs and maximum benefit for children and parents.”
As usual, Naked Heart founder Natalia Vodianova participated in the forum, leading a round table event on the popularity of myths surrounding developmental disabilities that took place alongside the main programme. The participants in the discussion, who included both international child development experts and various media representatives, discussed the problem of objectively covering issues relating to people with special needs, considered the most common myths in that regard and tried to establish who was responsible for disseminating pseudoscientific information about physical, mental and sensory disabilities. Once again, Marianna Maksimovskaya moderated the discussion.
Watch the round table discussion below (in Russian):
The main objective of the forum is to provide a platform for communication and exchange of experience, not only between Russian and international specialists and NGO representatives but also with members of parents’ organisations. The forum takes place on an annual basis, giving participants the opportunity to regularly find out about the work of their Russian and foreign colleagues and facilitating the creation of a professional community in Russia.
The topics covered this year in the presentations and master classes included: modern support programmes for children with autism who have behavioural disorders; the “Summer with Purpose” integrative camps for children and young people with autism; children with attention deficit disorder, anxiety disorders, dyslexia and Tourette’s syndrome – diagnosis and support programmes; evidence-based support programmes for children with foetal alcohol syndrome; and modern, family-centred rehabilitation programmes for children with motor disabilities. The full event programme and list of speakers can be found on the forum website.
Over 700 participants from more than 80 towns and cities and nine countries – Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, South Africa, Chechnya, USA, Finland, Estonia and Kazakhstan – attended the forum over the course of the four days. The forum speakers included: Dana Johnson, professor in the faculty of neonatology and paediatrics at the University of Minnesota; Kathleen Taylor, occupational therapist at the Center for Development and Disability, University of New Mexico; Dr Thomas Higbee, professor of special education and rehabilitation at Utah State University and director of the ASSERT support service; professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Jeffrey Wozniak; Director of the Marcus Autism Centre and professor of paediatrics at Emory University Nathan Call; and other specialists from Russia and beyond. All the experts, including those from overseas, travelled to Moscow and spoke at the event on a completely pro-bono basis, at the invitation of the Naked Heart Foundation.
The full forum programme and video recordings can be found on the forum website: forum.nakedheart.org #forumNHF
ТАSS, Meduza, Izvestia, Kommersant Style, KPMG
The Naked Heart Foundation is a registered charity in the UK and the US and a non-commercial organisation in the Russian Federation.
UK: The Naked Heart Foundation is a company limited by guarantee incorporated under the laws of England and Wales on 26 June 2007 with company registration number 6293334. It is registered with the Charities Commission of England and Wales under number 1122345. VAT number: 121271658.
US: The Naked Heart Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as of 11 May 2005. The Foundation was incorporated on 10 September 2004 pursuant to Section 402 of the Not-for-Profit Corporate Law of the State of New York.
Russia: The Children's Relief Foundation "Obnazhennie Serdtsa" is a non-commercial organisation without membership established in accordance with the Civil Code of the Russian Federation on 20 April 2005 in Nizhny Novgorod and The Children's Relief Foundation "Obnazhennoe Serdce" established on 6 December 2010 in Moscow.