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First Lady Emine Erdoğan highlights importance of foster families



First Lady Emine Erdoğan highlighted the importance of protecting children and families through state-led initiatives in cooperation with volunteers and foster families by allowing them to grow up in loving, stable and peaceful homes for a better future.

Speaking at a gathering with spouses of governors and foster parents at the Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara on Tuesday, the first lady said Türkiye has the power to take care of children entrusted to it.

“As the heirs of a civilization that has been cultivated with compassion for centuries, we are here today to bring the ‘Ambassadors of Love’ initiative a step forward toward the future,” Emine Erdoğan said, as she highlighted the culture of solidarity, philanthropy and charity in Türkiye.

Noting that winning the hearts of children and the elderly is one of the highest statuses of a lifetime, Emine Erdoğan said the initiative was launched 11 years ago to empower women, enhance the living quality of the elderly, and help disabled individuals realize their dreams by removing obstacles.

She pointed out that there had been prejudices about foster parenting in the country, but they have come a long way to overcome these barriers through campaigns, which have raised societal awareness about the issue. The spouses of governors have also been encouraging foster parenting through face-to-face visits as “Ambassadors of Love,” which significantly increased the number of foster parenting applications.

The country currently has four different models of foster parenting, which include “relatives and close circle,” “period-based,” “temporary,” and “specialized foster parenting model.” Some 7,817 foster families are taking care of 9,335 children, including 1,051 with special needs, in comparison to 500 foster families with 515 children back in 2002.


First Lady Emine Erdoğan and Family and Social Policies Minister Mahinur Özdemir Göktaş visit the exhibition in Ankara, Oct. 3, 2023. (AA Photo)

Emine Erdoğan reminded that Türkiye financially supports families who want to become foster parents but are afraid of volunteering due to financial concerns.

“I would like to remind once again that our sole expectation from foster families is to provide our children with peaceful homes, where seeds of love and respect are planted in their hearts,” the first lady said, adding that Türkiye provides significant assistance in terms of providing basic necessities for the children.

Noting that March 30 was declared the “Foster Parent Day” in 2021, Emine Erdoğan said they want children growing up with foster families to become happy and peaceful individuals who love themselves and their country.

Referring to the Feb. 6 twin earthquakes, which devastated Türkiye, the first lady said 45 out of 53 babies aged 0-1 reunited with their families following DNA matching, one baby was adopted, two others are currently being taken care of by foster families and 25 the remaining babies are awaiting foster families. She encouraged volunteers to further strengthen the initiative and visit children victims of the earthquakes.


Meanwhile, the first lady and Family and Social Policies Minister Mahinur Özdemir Göktaş attended an exhibition organized ahead of the meeting. The exhibition included works of children living in state-owned children’s houses. Most of the artwork was made out of recycled materials.

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Source: Daily Sabah


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