Whole Child Initiative – Providing the Best Possible Care

May 9, 2018
whole child Initiative

In 2017, each child served by Palmer  Home and Jonah’s Journey received individualized care that addressed their needs holistically and took into account the lens of their unique stories. This high standard of care is the impact of implementing Whole Child Initiative,  a unique approach to caring for vulnerable children developed on Palmer Home’s campuses.

A key component of Whole Child  Initiative is the  Whole Child Review, a meeting that brings together each person who serves the child. The Whole Child Review identifies a child’s strengths and needs. If a child is struggling, team members brainstorm about ways to address their underlying needs to help the child learn and grow.

“Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, we meet and formally discuss each child’s physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs,” says CEO Drake Bassett. “These four areas encompass the essential aspects of  a child’s life and, if addressed properly, will allow healing and restoration to take place.”

In addition to the unique philosophy of care, Whole Child Initiative brings to Palmer Home and Jonah’s Journey,  it also ensures staff and caregivers stay up to date on the best practices of trauma-informed care. Whole Child Initiative provides onsite training to Palmer Home’s clinical, residential and caregiving staff.

“The information in this training was incredibly in-depth and insightful,” said one Jonah’s Journey caregiver who received Whole Child training. “The most helpful piece of it for me was realizing that to provide healthy care for a child, I need to be  able to take care of myself first.”

After receiving Whole Child training, many caregivers felt more equipped to understand their children’s needs, communicate with them effectively and have a plan for responding with grace in hard moments.

“The feedback we’ve received from Palmer Home and Jonah’s Journey staff has been very valuable and inspires us to continue fine-tuning the training to provide the most helpful insights available for those serving vulnerable children,” says Lauren Strickland, Director of Whole Child Initiative.

Whole  Child Initiative uses evidence-based research and insights from caregivers in both foster and residential settings to develop its training protocols.  By obtaining a picture of childcare that is as complete as possible, Whole Child’s training program is truly remarkable. It strengthens caregivers’  ability to care for children in their home as well as their ability to communicate their children’s needs to others. In 2018,  Palmer Home for Children will implement Whole Child Initiative’s Model of Care. This two-year certification process will require training at all levels, including board, staff, and caregivers, ensuring a cohesive, trauma-sensitive culture of care for the organization.

“To  enable  everyone  in our organization  to work together as a  unit, each individual will be  trained in understanding the unique needs of the children we love and serve,”  Bassett said. “Whole Child Initiative represents our commitment to constantly improve and deliver superior care.”