October 2, 2023

Why Do We Train Our Caregivers?

Most of the children The Boaz Project serves have endured traumas many of us can scarcely imagine. Their journeys have been marked by loss, abandonment, and a yearning for love. These children, like fragile flowers buffeted by turbulent winds, need nurturing hands to guide them.

Our godly partners around the world long to help the orphans in their communities. Many, stepping out in obedience to our Lord’s command to care for orphans, have opened their homes, shared their meals, and offered countless hugs.

But what happens when the behaviors often associated with trauma—the lying, hoarding, promiscuity, self-harm, and more—rear their ugly heads? Most caregivers around the world are ill-equipped to address these behaviors and help the children in their care heal.

That is precisely why training in trauma-informed care is crucial. By providing consistent routines, an understanding of trauma’s grip, and unconditional love, our partners can help these children’s wounded hearts begin to mend. Trust starts to blossom, and the seeds of resilience are sown.

Trauma-informed care is a compassionate and comprehensive approach that recognizes the impact of trauma on an individual’s life and focuses on fostering resilience and healing. It acknowledges that trauma can manifest in diverse ways, leading to emotional, psychological, behavioral, and even physical challenges in orphans. To help children heal, trauma-informed care focuses on:

1. The Importance of a Safe Environment

Orphaned children need a safe and loving space to heal from their past wounds. A trauma-informed care setting ensures that all caregivers are attuned to the child’s unique needs. This environment prioritizes emotional safety, helping children build trust and develop healthy relationships.

2. Creating a Sense of Belonging

Orphaned children often grapple with a profound sense of loss and disconnection. A trauma-informed approach aims to create a sense of belonging, acknowledging the significance of their cultural identity and heritage. This enables them to rediscover their roots, instilling a feeling of pride in who they are and where they come from.

3. Empowering Through Choice

When trauma takes away a child’s sense of control, trauma-informed care seeks to restore it. Empowering children with choices – be it in decision-making, activities, or expressing their feelings – helps them regain a sense of agency over their lives. This newfound empowerment becomes a cornerstone for building resilience and overcoming adversity.

4. Supporting Emotional Regulation

The aftermath of trauma often leaves orphans with turbulent emotions that may be difficult to comprehend or manage. A trauma-informed approach equips caregivers with tools to support emotional regulation. By teaching coping mechanisms and validating emotions, these children can learn to navigate their feelings in a healthy manner.

5. Fostering a Growth Mindset

Trauma can lead to feelings of hopelessness and a fixed mindset, where children believe their circumstances define their potential. Trauma-informed care seeks to cultivate a growth mindset, encouraging children to view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. By embracing mistakes as part of the journey, these children can build resilience and embrace their potential.

By providing a nurturing and compassionate environment, trauma-informed care has the potential to heal deep wounds and shape orphans’ futures in profound ways. It can help young people understand that the trauma they have experienced does not define them. Rather, their ability to overcome their past challenges empowers them to become resilient, compassionate, and determined individuals. It allows them to see themselves as capable of achieving their dreams, irrespective of the past they carry.

1 Comment

  1. Lori Huertas says:

    As a Christian professor with a Masters in Counseling, it is true that Trauma-informed care seeks to cultivate a growth mindset, encouraging children to view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. By embracing mistakes as part of the journey, these children can build resilience and embrace their potential.

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Read more from our blog.

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?

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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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