FAR has helped children and families better their lives since 2000. The FAR Children’s Center, which is the only institution in Armenia that performs crisis intervention and rehabilitation, is also a national, full-service facility where children and their families can access shelter, counselling, outreach services, healthcare and legal assistance. The FAR Children’s Center has served nearly 1,000 vulnerable children who sought short-term shelter and rehabilitation services, outreach services like social and psychological counseling, and skills training since it opened in 2000. Its toll-free Child Protection Hotline and Helpline, which is funded by Jinishian Memorial Foundation and ArmenTel CJSC, enables children in crisis to reach out to the center for support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. FAR launched the Safe Cell Phone and Internet Program in 2009, which aims to raise awareness about the hazards of cyber threats to children.
In 2005, FAR partnered with the Armenian government to develop the nation’s first foster care program. Today FAR continues to work with UNICEF-Armenia to make sure children end up in good homes instead of state institutions. Many children who come to the FAR Children’s Center for help are eventually taken in by foster parents.
The Center leads efforts to improve the National Child Protection System, which utilizes all available resources for children in need and lobbies to improve the government’s existing child protection system. In this vein, FAR continually builds the capacity of child and family care specialists, raises awareness for lobbying on behalf of children’s rights and family protection, develops social technologies aimed to identify children and families at-risk, and expands and strengthens the nation’s foster care system.