One of the founders and directors of the Pro-Mama Centre, which provides support to foster families. In 1994 Maria founded Russia’s first children’s home that worked on the basis of the foster care system, and she has been a director there for the past 15 years; 95% of the children involved in this project are placed in family homes, regardless of their health or age. Since 1998 Maria has volunteered for a number of organisations, working on programmes for gifted children and developing projects to support families with disabled children. In 2004 she received a PhD in education. In 2014 she returned to the children’s home, where a family placement state resource centre is currently being created. She has received several awards for her work, including medals from the Federation Council of the State Duma and the Prefecture of the Central Administrative District, as well as a certificate from the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.