The Caregiver Training was created to prepare caregivers to help children living in international children’s homes understand and accept their pasts; form relationships built on trust, love, and respect; and interact with the world around them in a positive way, that they may be confident in their identity and reach their full potential. We designed this training to serve caregivers working with children who are approximately 6-18 years of age, live in a children’s home setting, and do not have any guarantee of permanency outside of the children’s home (meaning neither adoption nor reunification with birth family is a possibility or the objective for their future). We have expanded the training to include younger children. Additionally, there is an amended version that equips caregivers who are providing care for children that may be adopted or reunified at some point in their future.
The Caregiver Training is divided into three central parts: educating caregivers on the children’s background, equipping caregivers to help the children develop various skills they will need throughout their lives, and equipping caregivers to help themselves.
We believe that to truly be able to help these children, it is necessary for their caregivers to understand the trauma these children have undergone, the sense of loss they feel, and the grief they experience. As a result, these children do not trust readily or easily form attachments to other people. These children need holistic care provided to them in light of a thorough understanding of these realities. We also believe that there are many essential skills these children need to learn as they grow up in the children’s home in order to effectively enter society as an adult – these skills include decision-making, planning for the future, learning the concepts of ownership and value, responding to change, managing their behavior, and many others. Lastly, we believe it is essential for these caregivers to also help themselves (by dealing with personal trauma and practicing self-care) so that they are able to fruitfully help these children.
We believe that these caregivers have been appointed by God specifically for the task of caring for these children, for this season of their lives. We believe that the love, care, and example these caregivers provide can continue to impact these children throughout their futures – the caregiver may be temporary, but their investment is eternal! Therefore, we want to pour into, disciple, and empower these caregivers, so they, in turn, can pour into, disciple, and empower these children. True, lasting change in the lives of these children and the societies in which they live can only take place through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and discipleship in His Word. Amen!