Establishing Felt-Safety

Jan 11, 2018

Steph Duff

Felt-safety: a principle from Trauma Competent Care referring to the degree of safety one feels. One may be safe without actually feeling safe.

Kaylee Yoder, Back2Back Monterrey staff, walked into Del Norte Children’s Home with a visiting mission team behind her. Eleven-year old David ran up to her. “Kaylee! Today we are going on a field trip at three o’clock!”

Kaylee laughed, “Good job, David! How did you know?”

“I looked at the calendar!” He exclaimed proudly, and ran off to join the children. Kaylee and the team walked into the home. Excitement filled the air as mission trip team members paired off with children for the day.

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“Every time I visited the home, the children would always greet me by asking what was happening that day, or when the next mission trip team would be visiting, or when sponsorship letters would arrive,” shared Kaylee. She realized one way the children could find answers to their questions would be to provide them with a schedule.

“I spoke with the psychologist and social worker at the home and together, we decided to buy a large wall calendar,” she shared. Kaylee sat down and wrote every Back2Back-related event happening for the home on the calendar and hung it where it would be visible for all the children and caregivers.

“I wrote down birthday celebrations, home visits, days when mission trip groups were visiting, and field trips,” shared Kaylee.

Something as simple as purchasing a large calendar for all the children to see has proven impactful. Allowing the children to anticipate what will happen on a day-to-day basis, increases felt-safety for both the children and the adults providing care for them.

“It may seem really small, but the more we can help the children know what to expect, the more empowered the children will feel,” shared Kaylee. As the children look at the calendar, they know what’s happening next which helps them regulate their emotions, leading to better behavior and an increased sense of safety for everyone.

Would you consider partnering with Del Norte Children’s Home in creating felt-safety for each child? You can help provide care for today and hope for tomorrow by sponsoring a child. For more information, visit back2back.org/sponsor

 

Note: Felt-safety is a Trauma Competent Care principle. For more information on trauma, visit back2back.org/tcc

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dachshund, Addy. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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