Felt-Safety: Making Smoother Transitions

A young man looked around the bathroom he would soon share with three other teen boys in his new home. He looked at his soon-to-be Hope Parents and asked quietly, “Is there any way we could put a shelf on the wall to house our toiletries?”

Holistic care ensures children and teens from hard places have the physical and educational care needed to thrive in their future endeavors, but it also establishes attributes and characteristics not as easily identifiable. Things such using their voices, understanding and managing their emotions, showing respect to others, and gaining interview skills are just a few examples.

A teen boy touring his new home for the first time, asking for something he needs, is tangible evidence his children’s home taught him to use his voice. The Hope Program parents have the opportunity to respond and reaffirm his need, thus fostering connection. 

The Hope Education Program in Haiti recently welcomed three additional teen boys into the program. They will live with the current male Hope student and his Hope family. Their first nights in the home were made a little easier thanks to previous dinners held for the teens and the Hope parents to get to know each other.

“I scheduled specific times for the teens and parents to connect,” shared Lucson Jeannot, Back2Back staff. “I felt it was important there was rapport developed before the young men moved into their home.”

The small get-togethers allowed initial nerves to be bated and the ice to be broken between the emerging Hope family. Felt-safety is a high priority for all children and teens, and this time was set aside specifically to make it happen. 

The three students are officially moved in and share bunk beds. The teens are acclimating to a new home as they navigate learning life skills and setting goals for their futures. While much is new, we are confident the boys will succeed as they harness the power of their voices and use them to make the spaces and relationships around them stronger.