We LOVE children and have a heart for those who have endured childhood trauma, including suffered loss, neglect, abandonment, and abuse. We strive to create a safe, therapeutic environment to help vulnerable youth overcome fear, loss, and trauma. We exist to provide a secure, family atmosphere where each child can receive acceptance, a positive experience for children and families to learn about the saving hope of Jesus Christ through animal-assisted intervention sessions in a peaceful, calm, rural setting. Animals provide a purely non-judgmental space for individuals to work out their problems. Statistics prove that working with a therapy animal has resulted in behavioral improvement in children. We believe that the unspoken connection one can have with an animal can help aid in the healing process. The presence of animals themselves is soothing and can more quickly build rapport between a therapist and a client. This is why we believe that our program is so essential.
Our First Steps Program offers 90-minute sessions for the child with a trained advocate or therapist which entail animal care, bonding, building trust, play, purposeful conversation, and curriculum promoting healing. While the child is in his/her session, our Family Mentor serves to be a listening ear to the parents who remains onsite and leads them in parenting classes and/or Bible Study.
Family Mentor: A Family Mentor is quite simply just what it says. Being a foster parent or caretaker of any child is hard. So while all of our children receive love, care and support here on the farm, we also offer this to the family members, as well. During a child’s 90-minute session each parent or caretaker is asked to stay on the premises. A Family Mentor is someone who stays with the family of the child and simply offers support, guiding them through parenting classes or a Bible Study, able to offer a listening ear, a hug if wanted, a tissue if needed to dry some tears, and to just show love. One of the most important things that family mentors do is pray with a child's parent or caretaker before the end of every session. These 90-minute sessions are so beneficial to each child that comes to the farm and are equally as beneficial to the parent or caretaker. A Family Mentor is someone who needs to be judgment free. Has a listening ear with little words to say at times but the most to offer through reminding them they're not alone, and uplifting them through prayer. Every Family Mentor goes through an extensive background check as well and will not be permitted to work with any child until their background check comes back clear.
Child Advocate: Being a child advocate is one of the most crucial roles here at H.O.P.E.-full Pastures Farm. Being a child advocate means that you will be with a child during the entire 90-minute session. Your role as a child advocate includes lots of different things. Interacting with the child, directing them to their different stations all-be-it crafting, snacks, outside play, animal handling or care. Becoming a Child Advocate requires you to go through our specific extended training classes to help better educate, digest, and understand some of the difficulties that you might encounter while advocating in mentoring each child. Each child that comes on to the farm here is very special but they have experienced extremely traumatic events in their life. And being equipped yourself to know how to better deal with issues if they arise is of the utmost importance for being a child advocate. Every child advocate will go through an extensive background check, as well, and will only be qualified to move on to the Child Advocacy area if classes are completed and a background check comes back clear.
Curriculum Teacher: Serving our children through teaching from a curriculum which promotes healing, you will discover that Orbie for Orphan Curriculum is clear cut and serves as a guide while working with vulnerable children. The kids that come through our program may not be able to sit at the table to hear their lesson, so the teacher needs to be flexible, creative, and be prepared to share the lesson through activity, play, while cuddling an animal, or whatever holds that child’s attention. Teachers will be trained by our very own, Jeremy Botts. Each lesson will include an engaging activity, a focus verse, and a simple message that will remind every child that they are not alone. Teachers will be background checked and trained.
Our Extended Hands Program offers our facility and therapy animals, along with their handlers, to licensed therapists who are looking to incorporate animal-assisted therapy into their practice. Please call (513) 323-7573 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.