July 8, 2019

Your Introduction to Attachment

As people who are called to visit and care for the orphan, how do we best serve and love on them?

Experts in childhood trauma tell us that the single greatest factor in a child’s ability to overcome trauma and become a healthy, fully-functioning adult is whether or not that child has a safe and loving adult to care for him. This important truth guides much of our methodology here at The Boaz Project.

Over the next few months, we’ll be running a series (the second week of each month) of articles about the importance of healthy attachment and how to support it. It is our hope that this information will increase your understanding and concern for the children we serve and you prayerfully support.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTACHMENT

ATTACHMENT DEFINED:
Attachment is defined as “the bond that forms over time between a child and their parent or primary caregiver.” This bond is enhanced when the caregiver consistently meets the child’s most basic human needs and trust is developed. If this consistent meeting of needs occurs, the child will develop a secure attachment with his/her caregiver.

A healthy cycle of attachment would look something like this: If a child is hungry or wet, she will begin to cry. Mom will hear her crying and provide the nourishment and care she needs. The child’s need is met, and she begins to learn that if she is hungry or wet, she can always count on Mom. If the relationship remains consistent, this healthy attachment will continue to grow into adulthood and help her to form healthy relationships with friends, her life partner, and her own children.

WHAT DAMAGES ATTACHMENT?
Attachment is damaged when a child’s caregiver is not the one consistently meeting their needs or when their needs are not met at all.

For an orphan, learning to form healthy attachments is especially difficult. Having lost one or both parents to war or disease, being removed from their home after experiencing horrific abuse, or being given up due to the parents’ inability to care for their child, the message communicated to them is that their mother and/or father cannot or will not be there for them.

In response to their trauma, these children will more than likely establish an insecure attachment, making it difficult for them to bond with future caregivers and others who enter their lives.

REFLECTION:
Can you see a pattern of attachment in your own life? Reflect on your own childhood and recall what your caregiver(s) did to let you know that you could (or could not) place your trust in them.

Now, place yourself in the position of the orphan. You may or may not be able to relate to some of the experiences these precious ones have had. Take some time to think through what your own life would have been like if you did not have the opportunity to develop a secure attachment with a loving caregiver and the effects it would have on your relationships today.

This reflection may help you to see more clearly where these children are coming from and how important it is that we uphold and honor the attachments they are forming with their caregivers.

Courtney Kraus
Former Boaz Project Intern

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Because God knew that abandoned children would need help to survive, He tells us to actively meet the needs of orphans in James 1:27.

If you also feel the weight of this responsibility and the desire to make a real difference, consider partnering with us. Through our innovative in-home care model, specialized caregiver training, and humanitarian aid, you’ll help children not just survive—but truly thrive.

When you choose to partner with The Boaz Project, you'll restore hope, ensure a brighter future through education, and share the love of Jesus with children who desperately need it.

Just imagine the impact you can have—from saving a child from the horrors of the streets to helping them become community leaders, educators, and nurturers of the next generation.

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What does an orphan mission trip include?

  • Hotel accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Application support and fees for your Visa
  • In-country language assistance
  • All meals in-country
  • Ministry curriculum and supplies
  • Cross-cultural training and preparation
  • Trip insurance
  • International medical insurance
  • Fundraising assistance

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Orphan Advocate Training Certification Levels

Level 1

Learn about the mission and vision of The Boaz Project through activities such as watching an Encounter webinar, exploring our website, and following us on social media. You will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with your Orphan Advocate Training Coach, who will help you as you go through the levels.


Level 2

Gain more insight into the realities of the orphan crisis through reading "The Orphan’s Abba" and visiting The Boaz Project YouTube page. You will also meet The Boaz Project staff.


Level 3

Grow in your understanding of the orphan crisis, meet some houseparents by reading their stories, and create your own "Pick 2" with options like watching a movie and completing a creative project utilizing your unique skill set.


Level 4

Enhance your knowledge of healthy attachments for orphans, watch a webinar about Eastern Europe’s institutional orphanage system, and visit the Boaz office virtually or in person.


Level 5

Utilize all of the knowledge you have gained throughout training to develop methods based on your personal experience to share the mission and vision of The Boaz Project with others. Read a portion of our first level Houseparent Trauma Training and use your unique skills to impact orphans with a special project. Completing Level 5 gives you the option to apply to become an OAT Coach and/or a Regional Coordinator for The Boaz Project.

FAQ

Do I have to live near Greenwood, Indiana to complete the training?

No! This certification is intentionally created to allow opportunities for anyone in any location to fully participate.




How much of a time commitment is it?

This is completely up to you. The entire process is self-directed. There are no deadlines, and you may take as much or as little time as you need to complete each course.




Can I do this training with my spouse? Or a friend?

Yes! Going through the training with a spouse or friend can provide accountability and motivation. As you progress, you may be able to accomplish more together!




How much will it cost?

All Orphan Advocate Training courses are free to join! While you may choose to spend money while completing some projects, there are only minimal costs involved (such as a book or a few supplies) depending on which course you choose to do.




Is there an age requirement to become a Certified Orphan Advocate Trainee?

This would be answered on a case-by-case basis. This would also be open to middle schoolers or high schoolers looking to complete volunteer hours (i.e. National Honor Society) or build college applications. We always encourage young people to be involved if they feel led by God to do so!




What if I don’t have any social media accounts?

We will adjust your requirements to accommodate you and provide different opportunities to engage.




If I complete the five-level Orphan Advocate Training Certification, can I put it on my resume or LinkedIn profile?

Yes! When you complete each level, you will receive a certification that you can use to enhance your professional profile and to show involvement in community service.




Will I be able to get a signed letter to verify my volunteer hours?

We are sorry that we cannot verify volunteer hours that are done outside of the office or an event due to the fact that these hours are not supervised. However, we can write about the quality of work that was done, your commitment level, and the training courses achieved. We can also say that your self-reported, unsupervised hours fit into the typical number of hours that are usual for that course.




How do I get started?

If you think you would like to begin Orphan Advocate Training, please complete the form below, and you’ll be assigned an OAT Coach. Once your coach reviews your information, he/she will send you an email with your next steps!




Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

Please complete the form below or contact OAT@boazproject.org with any questions.

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