The Miracle Blog

Our Partnership with Cherish Uganda

Around the world, more organizations are moving away from institutionalization to family-based care. Cherish Uganda had a particularly challenging transition because they focus on children who are HIV-positive. Complicated medical and care considerations must be understood and evaluated for the child and the family.  Cherish Uganda is doing this seemingly impossible work, reunifying dozens of children with their loved ones and giving them a brighter future. How? A big part of the answer is their use of Miracle Foundation’s Thrive Scale tool.

“Working with the Thrive Scale and Miracle Foundation has been so powerful for us–Thrive Scale is a robust tool that gives us the data we need to care for people,” said Brent Phillips, CEO of Cherish Uganda.

Originally, Cherish Uganda built an orphanage for HIV-positive children but found over time that a reunification approach would best serve the children’s needs. “We began a family reunification program,” says Phillips. “We could not have done this, given the complexities of the children’s medical conditions, without Miracle Foundation and their Thrive Scale tool. Now, our decisions are driven by data for each child’s specific situation.”

Since 2018, Cherish Uganda has reunified 70 families–and the orphanage has been repurposed into a maternity ward and staff housing. The ThriveScale tool played a key role in helping assess each family’s situation during a home visit in five key areas, including physical and mental health, social relationships, and living conditions—all of particular concern with HIV-positive children. With a meaningful baseline established for the specific needs of these children, real assessments of readiness for reunification could be made. “We didn’t have to customize the Thrive Scale to meet the needs of children who are HIV-positive. It’s so adaptable, it’s like a screwdriver,” said Phillips.

Wanting to do even more, Cherish Uganda has established a maternity ward to help support families even before the birth of a child. Since December 1 of last year, over 30 babies have been born and 62 expectant mothers are signed up for support. Cherish employees are using the Thrive Scale to ensure children are born into a safe, supported family environment. “We’re excited to know that our Thrive Scale methodology can help make an immediate difference for the babies born at the Cherish Hospital, keeping them with their families,” said Leslie Beasley of Miracle Foundation.

February 21, 2024 CATEGORY: News
Miracle Foundation

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