Without adequate training and understanding, caretakers and child welfare workers with beautiful, well-meaning hearts are burning out. Working with children who have experienced trauma and loss is difficult! This is why in 2015 Trust for Africa invited Patrice Penney of ICARA to come and help our caretakers and others in the community to know how to understand and help children with severe heart-wounds. Since that time we have held numerous trainings, reaching caretakers and child welfare officers across the country (see updated statistics below).
The trauma-informed care curriculum focuses on educating and equipping caretakers on the impact of trauma and loss on child development and growth. It a
lso gives caretakers tangible tools and strategies to engage with children to help them find healing and regulate their own emotions and behaviors. Ultimately, it helps children and caretakers to thrive and not just survive.
As Patrice shares, “We focus on how crucial it is to listen to children, and understand the heart needs that often prompt disobedience (intense fear around abandonment, abuse, rejection, needs not being met, lack of care). We also look at the brain, and the idea that when a child is traumatized, that child’s capacity to think clearly, calm down, organize thoughts and feelings, and make good decisions, shuts down. The aunties and uncles grapple with these new understandings as they challenge the cultural ways they have been responding to children, and prompt new ways to think about caregiving and discipline.”
Here are some Stats to Date:
- 100 people trained
- 41 organizations/schools/ministries
- 17 trainers certified
- Impacting more than 12,000 children
Last updated: August 2018