Arts and crafts in the garden (photo: SOS archives)
Arts and crafts in the garden (photo: SOS archives)

Karlovy Vary, which has almost 50 000 inhabitants, is located about 120 kilometres north-west of Prague and close to the border with Germany. SOS Children's Village is ten kilometres from the city centre, in the quarter called Doubi.

The town of Karlovy Vary is a very well-known traditional spa, which attracts visitors to enjoy its thermal waters as well as its beautiful surroundings. The town is also famous for its glass and porcelain manufacturing and its herbal liqueur.

A need to provide children with a loving home and young people with a future

SOS Children's Villages has been very active in the development and implementation of the child protection policy in the Czech Republic. Given the number of children without parental care who are in institutions, the SOS Children's Villages idea that children could be looked after in loving SOS families, continues to be very important. Children who have grown up in SOS families are individually supported until they can live independently.

What we do in Karlovy Vary- Doubi

On a visit to the zoo (photo: SOS archives)
On a visit to the zoo (photo: SOS archives)  

SOS Children's Villages has been present in Karlovy Vary since 1970.

Strengthen families: The Family Strengthening Programme in Karlovy Vary provides supporting services to families in crisis. The goal is to stabilise families in a difficult social or financial situations and to prevent the children being taken out of the family by the authorities. We work with the family directly in their natural environment. Social workers help all members of the family to cope with their unfavourable life situation.

Supporting foster families: Children who cannot stay with their families, find a loving home in one of the foster families, who receive support from SOS Children's Villages. The foster families are trained by SOS Children's Villages to ensure that the children are cared for to the highest standards. In order to do this, we provide continuous social and emotional support. Some foster families live integrated in the community.

Our services include social counselling, psychological help, training for professional skills, services to ease foster parenting and assistance with meeting the children’s biological family.

We organise regular leisure activities for children, such as art workshops, sport classes, science classes and dancing groups.  Besides, special actions are organized, such as Children’s Day or Halloween.

Short-term care: We also provide short-term care for children in crisis situations who need immediate help. In our facility called SOS Slunícko we help families who are temporarily not able to take care of their children due to a difficult life situation. We also help neglected or abused children. We provide the children with the 24/7 care of family assistants (aunties), but also of professional social workers, psychologists and other professionals depending on the children’s needs. We care for them for a limited period of time, until the authorities decide whether they can return to their families of origin, or find a new home elsewhere.

There are two houses which can care for a maximum of eight children each. SOS Children’s Villages are the only provider of short-term placement facilities in Karlovy Vary District.