Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tales of Priut Almus by Robert Belenky, PhD ***

Amazon Link Tales of Priut Almus: Participant Observation in a Russian Children's Shelter

On the back of the book it states: Priut Almus is a model of what may be possible for the United States in the realm of education and child care.

My Review:
In 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a children’s shelter, Priut Almus, was founded in St. Petersburg. The city was plagued by poverty. Families were suffering, and children were sent - or chose to live - in this shelter and others.

The author spent time at the shelter and interviewed the children, shelter workers, and the founder/director of the shelter. Most of the children had alcoholic parents and were abused or watched abuse in their home. Others were there temporarily for parental illness or other family issues.

The children were not allowed to stay more than one year at the shelter, but rarely stayed even that long. After a year, the children were expected to go home, to a foster home, or be adopted. The children seemed to come and go by their own choice, without much structure in their lives.

The problem of abused or throw-away children is certainly a complicated one, and this book would be profitable to those in the social service field.


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