What is it about?

The www.fairstartfoundation.com unites child researchers, NGO and government agencies, to train daily caregivers of children and youth without parental care in attachment-based practices. Local partner staff are educated in online classrooms, to train groups of foster parents and group home staff with programs in local language versions, adjusted to culture.

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Why is it important?

According to UN, 170 million children are de facto orphans, at risk of substandard care. This calls for large scale interventions, helping organizations train caregivers from research-based standard educations and trainings. The www.fairstartfoundation.com online classrooms are formed in partnerships, to build local competence systems expertise. More than 500 staff have graduated 6 month educations, and trained the caregivers of 40.000 children in 26 countries. The blended learning design reduces partner costs for education by 80 %, and outcomes are measured in research. 20 language program versions are free at site for professionals.


My 2008 idea for Fairstart is to inspire organizations, professionals and researchers to further design online based interventions, to improve the mental health of children and youth in alternative care, and set uniform standards for staff education in the field. This is happening, as I received the APA 2020 Award for international humanitarian work for underserved populations. Fairstart's outcomes have been produced by a staff of four since 2012, and demonstrates the efficiency of partnerships and blended learning from Greenland to Chile.

Niels Peter Rygaard

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Improving the mental health of abandoned children: Experiences from a global online intervention., American Psychologist, December 2020, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/amp0000726.
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