For the new Nazareth Home program for assisting children who have been exposed to traumatic experiences, the expectations and outcomes are high, but achievable.
When you think about it, infants and young children are typically dependent on a small group of people or maybe only one person, their caregiver. It is important to develop a healthy relationship early in their lives, so that the child can become resourceful and feel comfortable seeking help from the caregiver when needed.
At the start of the Nazareth Home program, a questionnaire is given to garner a better understanding of the participants’ knowledge of the effects of childhood trauma, the behaviors children exhibit and how the trauma affects long-term outcomes. Questions will then be asked about the coping mechanisms the staff and volunteers have themselves and how they relate to working with the children. There will then be a post-program questionnaire that will help evaluate experiences and allow the staff volunteers to improve. These questionnaires will be distributed before and after each session.
Nazareth Home is hoping the program currently set in place continues to have success while growing to incorporate other techniques regarding the security of each child. This program primarily affects East Chicago and the surrounding areas, but Nazareth Home, with the help of Foundations of East Chicago (FEC), hope to expand it as much as possible.
The program is broken up into four sessions, with the first session consisting of basically introductions and thorough training. The remaining sessions are opportunities for the staff and volunteers to share their experiences as a group to encourage improvement and better care for the children. Participants also have reliable resources provided by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network on their website.
To learn more about FEC grantees such as the Nazareth Home, visit www.FoundationsEC.org.