Frequently Asked Questions: Rainbow of Hope Hosting Program
What is the Orphan Hosting Program?
The Orphan Hosting Program provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for orphans to receive the love, compassion, and attention lacking in their lives. The children are exposed to God’s love for them, as demonstrated in a healthy family environment. It is a marvelous way of motivating the children and giving them hope for their futures. We seek to create a long-term relationship between a young person from an orphanage and a family or individual in the community to help the child overcome the effects of institutionalization, learn social adaptive skills, and develop the internal strengths to become national leaders of tomorrow, according to God’s plan for their lives.
How does the hosting program work?
Once prospective host families complete pre-hosting requirements (application, screening, orientation, fundraising etc.) they are matched with a child. Children arrive in the US at the end of the month, December or June depending on the program, and are accompanied by a chaperon from their orphanage in Ukraine. During the 3-6 week visit, host families and children get to know each other, and the children get to meet the families’ circles of friends and others in the community.
How are the children who participate in the hosting program selected?
The children are selected by the Orphanage Directors based on what child will benefit from the experience and be able to adapt to a cross-cultural experience. While we attempt to meet the requests of our host families regarding gender and age, we cannot guarantee there will be a participating child available that meets the requested criteria. Ages of the children available for hosting are 6 – 16 year olds, but generally the children are between 11 – 15 years old. There are more boys than girls available for hosting and girls may not be available; families need to be open to host a child of any gender, any age.
Aside from providing a home for a child, what else will be expected of me?
Host families are expected to involve the children in an active, nurturing environment, and to provide them with basic necessities while they are here. Every family has enjoyed outfitting their hosted child with new shoes and play clothes.
Prior to hosting a child, host families must agree to:
- Complete the Hosting Application, and other forms as requested
- Complete a mini-home study, child abuse clearances and criminal background checks
- Attend a mandatory host family preparation session
- Seek dental and physician pro-bono services
- Provide necessities such as food, clothing, hygiene items to the child during the visit
- Participate in the program itinerary and allow the children to interact with other the other orphan children
- Allow the children to interact with the chaperon for 2-3 days
- Seek support and donations for the child’s trip of $2,950
*Love Cradle Int. is a licensed 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.*
Host families are encouraged to advocate for their host child by speaking with interested families and groups, and creating opportunities for the child to meet people who may be interested in becoming a life-long friend and provide support once the child returns to Ukraine.
What kind of training and support will the host families receive?
Before the children arrive, the host parents are required to attend training sessions (approximately 6 hours) where they learn about the experiences of post-institutionalized children and the issues they may face when hosting. While the children are here, families have the support of their local social worker and hosting program staff should any issues arise. Additionally, families have access to a network of health and psychological professionals familiar with issues confronting older, institutionalized children.
What will the children do while they are here?
Children participate in day-to-day family life with their host parents and will be a part of their typical routine. The program itinerary may include activities such as craft projects, English language lessons, sports activities, swimming, and bowling; trips to local sites such as the park, a zoo, an aquarium or museum. Coordinators plan one or two weekly events for host families in their area that bring all host families, children, and chaperones together. “Out of Area” families do not have to bring their hosted children to main group events, but need to plan their own cultural events and when applicable, meet with other families in their area at least two times per week. There are three mandatory events for all host families: pick up your host child on the day of their arrival, attend the farewell banquet, and bring your child to the designated location on the day of their departure.
What happens if a child becomes sick during the visit?
Each child is covered by a major medical insurance policy ($0 deductible) during their stay that covers accidents and emergencies. This policy does not cover dental or vision care. Visits to pediatricians for minor illnesses or medical care are the responsibility of the host family. They are encouraged to work to find health professionals that will provide pro-bono medical services that are not covered by the emergency medical policy.
What if a host family cannot keep the child for the entire visit?
Our goal is to keep a child in the same home for the duration of the program and we ask host families to commit to hosting for the entire period. However, sometimes unexpected things happen within a family that will prohibit them from continuing to host the child. In these instances, we will place the child with another family.
Do host families have to speak the child’s language?
No. Translation support and resources are provided to assist families. Translators are available at the group activities, and a list of translators is provided for translation help by phone at other times.
What happens to the children at the end of the hosting program?
By law, at the end of the visit, all children must return to Ukraine with their chaperones.
What kinds of volunteer opportunities are available to support the hosting program?
Volunteers are needed in many areas, including:
- Community Volunteers: Assist in the planning and implementation of the program in their community. Primary areas of support include recruiting host families, day camp organization, event planning, and outreach/advocacy.
- Host Families: Volunteers who will sponsor and host a child/children in their home for the 3-6 week visit.
- Publicists: Volunteers in the community to get the word out; putting out flyers, speaking to community groups, and soliciting support from local media.
- Fundraisers: Volunteers to solicit donations or coordinate a fundraiser to defray the costs of child sponsorship, or meet needs in the orphanages.
- Medical Support: Professionals willing to provide free medical, dental and vision services for the children.
- Translators: People who understand Russian and/or Ukrainian languages and cultures to provide language assistance for host families.
- Special Projects: Volunteers to assist in meeting special requests or specific needs, such as a collection drive for socks, hats, mittens, school supplies, toothbrushes, etc.
What if we want to participate in the program but live outside the local area?
It is helpful to live near the program area so that your host child can participate in the group events and interact with other host children and their families. However, it is not required if the family is willing to come for one or two days of the program, is able to host a child, and is willing to advocate for their child in their local community.
What are the financial obligations/expenses for the hosting family?
The orphan hosting program is a Reverse Mission trip that hosting families experience together; the mission is coming to your home instead of you traveling to another country. The success of a mission relies upon donations of funds and other needed items. While Love Cradle covers approximately half of the cost of the mission, we ask each host family participating to raise support of $2,950 for their hosted child. The orphan child’s chance to come to America and stay with loving Christian family depends on a host family’s efforts to raise this support. This support does not include the child’s meals and care items, medical services described above, and outings with the host family. Costs include legal paperwork in Ukraine, all transportation (train, bus, and airfare), travel passports, US Visas, medical insurance for the host child and chaperon, etc. All donations are tax deductible.
How do I contact Love Cradle Int.?
Interest Form: http://www.rainbowofhope.org/get-involved/
276 West Cherry Lane,
Souderton, PA, USA 18964