Palmer Home Introduces Whole Child Initiative
Drake Bassett set out to familiarize himself with the history of every child on campus when he first arrived as Palmer Home’s President and CEO in 2012. As he studied each file, he soon realized the need for a better, more quantitative way to measure and track the well-being of each child. This was the beginning of what would come to be Whole Child Initiative (WCI).
Whole Child Initiative is a comprehensive approach to caring for children, which focuses on the four critical areas of a child’s health: Physical, Emotional, Educational and Spiritual. The initiative is set apart by its focus on the spiritual growth of each child while fully understanding that all four areas must be addressed equally to bring a child to wholeness.
Palmer Home has developed online training tools and is working collaboratively with churches and other caregiving organizations to train and certify new families willing to serve as foster parents. Dr. David Foster, Senior Advisor of Whole Child Initiative, believes this project is unique. “I’ve been in this space for over 30 years and I’ve seen nothing like this out there. It considers all aspects that are vital to the development of a child emerging from a broken home.”
In addition to the Whole Child curriculum, Palmer Home brings like-minded caregivers together each year for the Whole Child Conference where caregivers are invited to fellowship together, relax and learn from feature keynote speakers.
What began as an internal tool is now reaching children beyond Palmer Home. The mission to reach as many children as possible is now becoming a reality. Children in Ghana, Africa, Manila and other parts of the U.S. are engaged in the Whole Child Initiative. Dr. Foster says, “Whole Child Initiative is more than an approach, it’s a commitment.”