Two of our trainers recently have returned from Sevastopol, one of the regions of Ukraine. They have conducted 4 days of Case Worker Core training (Module 1 and 2) for social workers. We met with them in our office in order to review how the training went. They have told us that in the beginning of the training our trainers faced resistance and negative attitude from the participants. Participants were convinced that family focused approach does not work in Ukraine. They insisted that the best way to help the child is to take the child away from any struggling families and place the child to the orphanage. There was a belief that there is a need to punish the family and nothing can be done to help them.
Over the course of training, trainers have witnessed the change in participants thinking. Participants admitted that they would like to apply skills they received at the training at their work settings and at the end of the training they asked our trainers to come back again and train them on the other Modules from this program. 

The following is the quote from the participant who was the most resistant at first, but by the end of the second day of the training, even he admitted:
“It is good for a child to have warm clothes, TV  and good meal but what about nurturing, caring and warm family relationship?!” 



Our dear friends and colleagues,

ILDC team wishes you a wonderful celebration of Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We hope you have a joyful season and find time to reflect on the great things that have happened this year!
We wish you a good health and happiness in your families and success at your jobs in the coming year!
We are grateful to partner with you and thank you for your interest in ILDC work and our different projects in Ukraine in child welfare!
Many of you have contributed in many ways over the past years to the work here in Ukraine and we THANK YOU for your partnership!!!

With the best wishes,
ILDC team

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis


Dear friends,

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for your care and your prayers for Katrina and her situation.

We have been in contact  with the USA embassy for last couple of weeks. We helped Katrina to fill out the necessary papers that Embassy had requested from Katrina. Yesterday we had a good phone conversation with the US embassy representative. They have informed us that they have addressed the U.S. Health and Human Services/International Social Services  to deal with Katrina’s repatriation back to the U.S. We were told that it is going to be about three weeks until we hear from them about their decision.

We would like to ask you to continue to pray for Katrina and her future.

Check our blog from time to time  to find out latest updates.

ILDC team


The Kyrylenko family from Apostolov town, Drenepropetrovsk region of Ukraine has adopted 3 children from the orphanage a year and a half ago. Right after children arrived to the family, the parents started experiencing problems with the oldest boy Vitality. He was misbehaving himself and caused many problems in the family. The Kyrylenko family approached ILDC national trainer for a consultation. After the consultation the family was invited to attend ILDC training for adoptive and foster families. As the result of the training, things in the family started to get better and better. Volodia has improved in his behavior and is getting along with his parents. Now, the Kyrylenko family has adopted two more kids, two brothers Daniel and Andrei. They have told us one day that they were very glad to attend the training and to learn how to manage difficult behavior. For us it is great example on how a training can make an impact and change families. Different things they didn’t know or maybe thought were not so important can cause big challenges and problems in the family. There are so many families in Ukraine with a similar situation to this one, where parents don’t know what to do and how to raise their adoptive or foster children. Some of them have already given up and children had to go back to the orphanage.

We believe, training can make a difference not only in parents' life but in lives of children as well!



ILDC staff is very excited to announce a new open door and a great opportunity to start Case Worker Core training for social workers in Sevastopol, Crimea. We have received a phone call from the Social Services with a request for ILDC to go out to Crimea and conduct training there. Two of our national trainers are there this week to work with the group of 25 social workers from Crimea. It’s indeed one more step forward in reaching one of our goals to have trainings in child welfare in every region of Ukraine.

We realize the importance of training child welfare staff and helping them to become real experts at their work settings. Why is it important? We believe that if we raise the professional level of the social workers, it will help them to do their work even better. Many families who are at risk will receive professional help. Children would not be taken from their birth families as result of neglect and abuse. No children will go to the orphanage, but instead will live in families that love them and care for them and all their needs!

Once again we would like to express our gratitude to all of our partners and friends. Your contributions help us to pursue our vision “Healthy Families, Protected Children” and make it reality!



This is a repost from www.lambinternational.blogspot.com ILDC founder organization

She is with one of our partners in Ukraine, staying in an apartment with another young woman. We have her there until the US Embassy can meet with her. They will let us know about bringing her back to the US. The US Embassy has offered to buy her ticket home - we would just have to pay them back for this. This is what she wants. Keep in mind - she is 18 - likely functioning at an emotional age of 12 - the age when she was adopted. She is likely not able to figure all this out by herself - she is still a child.

Our next step is to continue to hear from you all - about her situation. How might you help? We have been receiving some suggestions of where she might live once she returns to the US. Let's keep in mind she will undoubtably need counseling and help working through the education system. It is not going to be an easy road with her once she is back and with a family. We can all work together to do the best we can - ultimately Katya will need to take some responsibility - as she settles and stabilizes. But first - we need commitment from a family, a place for her to return to - one that is realistic in their expectations. This might be a very difficult placement for a time as all the issues are worked out.

She is in good hands right now in Ukraine. She no longer is under the "rule" of the orphanage. Our staff will work with her to extend her stay in Ukraine until we work out the US return with the US Embassy. The Embassy will do the investigation on the situation - that is their job, not ours. We are focused on Katya and her needs at this time.

Thanks to our partners in Ukraine, our team members John and Julie - together we will not be stopped.



This is a repost from www.lambinternational.blogspot.com ILDC founder organization



We have been working on a difficult sitution here in Ukraine. There is a young American girl who is presently at an orphanage not by her choice. She was adopted from Ukraine when she was in grade 6. She turned 18 in August of this year and in October 2010 her adoptive parents put her on a plane and sent her back to Ukraine. We have heard her story and it is sad.
She is receiving help from a church in Krivoy Rog as well as other individuals in Ukraine. She now has no place to return to in the US and had no idea of what she will do. The US Embassy has been contacted and they are aware of the situation and are planning to do a thorough investigation of the situation.

Our staff are doing what they can do as well. We have found a place for her to stay here in Ukraine until she can return to the US, but she is running out of time to leave the country. Foreigners can only stay three months and then need to leave and then they can re-enter. Although she was born in Ukraine, she is now considered a foreigner. Her citizenship is US and she wants to return, but has no one to help her in the US.

This is where we place the call to our friends, family and bloggers. Is there anyone out there willing to take a risk and help? Her story is one of constant conflict, verbal abuse and lack of emotional support. She claims she was a Magna student (can easily be confirmed). She was to graduate this year, but was sent back before this could take place. She will likely lose most of her school year. She claims she was sent back with only hours notice - afraid of what the alternatives were for her.

All persons working with her in Ukraine claim she is a nice girl - very upset at this, does not know the national language of Ukrainian and speaks "weak" Russian. In fact her Russian is at a grade 6 level. She wants to return home to the US. She sees no hope with her adoptive family.

Please consider this, pray for this siutation and let us know if you have any ideas. You can contact us at our email address - we believe this young woman deserves to have this help. One cannot make decisions alone when you are 18 - in a foreign country - facing the unknowns - and just plain scared.



As you all know ILDC has started conducting trainings with Ukrainian national trainers in the regions of Ukraine. It has been a long learning process through which our trainers had to go. They went through a number of trainings conducted by our international experts and have grown to the point where they apply the knowledge that they have received and now train others. Our national trainer Lena Andruhovich was recently in Krivoi Rog. Lena continued the Case Worker Core training that was started by our president Ruby Johnston. In the middle of November she has conducted CWC training on module 6 and 7, for the 14 child welfare specialists and social workers. We were able to reach the goals that were set for this training. The participants practiced new skills and received new knowledge that they plan to apply at their job settings. This will help them to better the result of their work. It is great to receive such positive feedback from all of the participants.

We are glad to be reaching one of our goals that we have set years ago. ILDC has a pool of professional national trainers who have commitment and professionalism and are becoming catalysts of change.



It was not long time ago when we last have talked about creating a blog for ILDC project Adopt Ukraine. We are happy to announce that it’s out and now you can access it either through this blog by clicking on the link on the right site of ILDC blog or just visit www.adoptukraine.blogspot.com . We hope you will like it and enjoy following the updates on the project activities and hear some stories about families that Adopt Ukraine is working with!





This was not just an event. I would say it was historical event that may bring great change in the lives of many children in Ukraine.

Over 500 people gathered together at a conference in Kiev all committed to seeing a Ukraine Without Orphans in 2015. Hard to think or even imagine of this could have been possible, but many believe it is. We believe and hope that Ukraine can lead the former USSR in showing others how to divert children from orphanages.

This great event was not just a conference but rather a challenge for churches, NGO’s and parents to get involved and take on the heart of the orphan. Today we share the hope and the passion to see a mobilized partnership of NGO's joining together and creating a NEW REALITY for children waiting for families - for children who would otherwise be quickly placed into an orphanage.



Many people say or at least think that training is something boring and something to be endured. Well this people could be very wrong if they attended one of ILDC trainings in Ukraine.

We had a superb training conducted by our professional experts in child welfare and great friends of ILDC David and Jayne Schooler. Around 20 people attended this training. Most of them were adoptive parents and some social workers.The topic was Wounded Children, Healing Homes, How Traumatised Children Impact Adoptive Families.

The attendees enjoyed the training and had their questions answered. Next step for them will be to apply what they have learned at this training.We all know that it may not be easy for them but one thing is certain, this people are heroes and now they have the right tools to do their best for the children they have chosen to love and care.

This video can show you that training can be fun!



As it has already been mentioned before in our blog , ILDC hosted guests from Kyrgyzstan for a week. The group studied the child welfare system in Ukraine in order to better understand the potential to divert children from orphanages .

ILDC staff and Kirghiz colleagues had a very productive time in Kiev as the result of the organized study tour of child welfare system here. These Kirghiz leaders were given the opportunity to visit leading NGO organizations in child welfare like Fathers House Foundation, Sun Shine Children Center, and ILDC partners Every Child Ukraine.
The second part of the study tour inlcuded state organizations like Kiev City Children Services, Brovary City Social Services and State Social Services in their head office in Kiev.
For the ILDC staff it was a great experience to learn more about Kirghiz colleagues and their work. As the result of this new partnership we discovered a great opportunity to start an exchange of experience project between our two countries.
ILDC has already accomplished writing a proposal to one the grant organizations. We hoping that after our proposal is approved we will initiate a new study tour to Ukraine in larger scale for 12 professionals of NGOs and Kirghiz state Representatives.
The second phase of the project will be an organized conference for child welfare professionals and child welfare state Representatives in Kyrgyzstan.
Let us hope that this attempt succeeds and our Kirghiz colleagues will be successful in their efforts to reform Kirghiz child welfare.

We have one common goal and one common dream to see our countries without orphans.

Let God help us.



We as ILDC team want to announce of our brochures been printed in two languages, English and Ukrainian. All of them arrived today and we can put one more mark on our to do list for the preparations for the conference "Ukraine without orphans" which will take place in Kiev this week. As you can see on our faces, we are very excited and would like to thank our supporters for sponsoring this publishing.

We thank Ruby and Lynn Johnston and IHS for helping us with editing and publishing the brochure.



ILDC had a great weekend on the 23rd of October conducting long-awaited training on the book: "Telling The Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child" for social workers, psychologists and child welfare specialists. The training was a great success. We had more than 40 people present at the training. The participants found the topic to be relevant and very useful in their work settings. They had a wonderful opportunity for in-depth discussion and had lots of practical exercises on this topic.

About 1/3 of the participants were from Russia. They got very interested in the opportunity of this kind of training in their country. We hope to develop partnerships in Russia in the near future.
The professional approach to the training was very appreciated! We would like to share our gratitude to Ruby Johnston for conducting the training and Jayne Schooler for writing this wonderful book.

Every participant received a copy of the book "Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child" and four volumes of the "Field Guide to Child Welfare" written by one of ILDC founders Judith S. Rycus and Ronald C. Hughes, IHS. All participants were very excited to get this material.



Its only less than two weeks away from the conference "Ukraine Without Orphans" which will take place in Kiev, Ukraine. Over 500 people will participate at the conference and we are as ILDC team very excited and look forward to this great event. Today we finally received our banners which is one more important detail in preparation for the conference. It is a great tool for exposure of our work in Ukraine in order to present the work of ILDC and its' significance in Ukrainian child welfare.

We want to thank Lynn and Ruby Johnston for contributing into production of the banners and continued support of our organizational growth.


ILDC has signed a contract with a National trainer Elena Andruhovich for training module 6 of Case Worker Core training program in Kriviy Rig city on November 8 - 10 for social workers and trainers of city social service of Kriviy Rig.

We as a team are very excited that our National trainer's pool is growing, trainers are becoming more experienced in training ILDC programs in child welfare. Best practice is being trained to child welfare workers in Ukraine.

Case Worker Core program was kindly provided to ILDC by one of our founders - Institute for Human Services, Ohio USA



Training with Nan Beeler from IHS, Ohio.
Child welfare professionals in Ukraine received great opportunity to improve the quality of training programs which will be developed for child welfare system in Ukraine. Curriculum development training was conducted by ILDC with participation of international expert Nan Beeler from IHS, Ohio USA in September 2010 in Kiev, Ukraine. Thirty child welfare professionals and trainers attended the training. Participants emphasized the importance and relevance of this training of this particular training for building capacity of child welfare in Ukraine in present time. A lot of them claimed that this was first time that they attended training for such topic.

Training participants at the end of the training received a copy of the Field Guide written by Judith Rycus and Ron Hughes as a gift from ILDC and IHS.

ILDC thanks IHS and Nan Beeler for the granted opportunity and for contribution into capacity building of Ukrainian child welfare.




Oleg and Raya adopted their daughter when she was just getting ready to turn 18. This was just one year ago. The anniversay of her adoption was celebrated and is a great reminder to all that children want families - no matter their age. We, the team of ILDC - Ukraine are reminded once again of the importance of working hard toward UKRAINE WITHOUT ORPHANS.



STUDY VISIT - KYRGYZSTAN leaders have been given a weeks study experience in Ukraine in order to better understand the potential to divert children from orphanages. Ukraine experience was presented and ideas exchanged t0 further the ideal condition for both countries:



Let's make this a movement!

ILDC - Ukraine and ILDC - Kyrgyzstan thank the Institute for Human Services for making this study tour possible.


Our Mission

International Leadership and Development Center is committed to ensure the highest standards of child welfare by working in partnership to equip professionals, leaders, organizations and communities. ILDC provides quality training, consultation, publications, and support to promote safety, permanence and well-being of children who are at risk of abuse and neglect.

Our Vision

Children will live in healthy families free from abuse and neglect as a result of families being responsive to their children and keeping them safe; communities being supportive of families; and professionals being well equipped to help strengthen families and protect children.