Published on 02/03/2022 9:50 am

Local Matters is all about children this week, those children who don’t have the chance to grow up in a regular family environment, but in alternative care.

It is lunch time in the Arcus children’s home in Grevenmacher. Eight children just came back from school and storm in the kitchen. The room is filled with chatter, and eventually one of them starts to sing. Ssshh, says the social worker who looks after the kids during lunch. But the quiet doesn’t last long.

Liliane Kremer is the director of the children’s home in Grevenmacher. She and her team of social workers are responsible for providing the children with every kind of assistance they need, but also for setting boundaries. Their parents can’t take care of them. Liliane Kremer says: “Usually it is not only for one reason. Neglect; emotional neglect or a lack of food; financial problems of the parents; homelessness; addictions from drugs; the parents are in prison; abuse, sexual abuse or other. The needs of the child might not be looked after because the parents are in need, so they can’t focus on the child’s needs.”

Liliane Kremer is the director of children’s home. In total, around 1.300 children in Luxembourg grow up in alternative care, in children’s homes or foster families. The Asbl Arcus as well as other associations such as caritas or the Red Cross add to the offer of state-led children’s homes. Arcus has 14 residential groups across the country.

The children go to school in the morning, a housekeeper prepares lunch, they do homework in the afternoon, and then do sports, go to doctors, psychologists, meet friends from school, play. The Kannerhaus always tries also to involve the parents, meetings the weekend.  It is often difficult to maintain the balance between the group and the individual. The education in children’s homes has been criticized in the past, it would upbring conformist youth. Liliane Kremer and her team try to balance the need for individuality and the conditions of living in a group. “The children have their different needs. Some need a framework, others need fixed limits, for a very long time, because they didn’t have the chance to do certain necessary developments when they were infants. We always see where the child needs individual care and individual activities. We try to have one-to-one sessions with the child, do activities with only one child and one educator, maybe go on a hiking trip, sleep outside.” The children’s home must compensate for the bad start that these children had in life, so that one day, despite the troubled start they had, they have the same chances for development as others.

 

 

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Local Matters: The children’s home in Grevenmacher