The Family Model is the key to Casa Hogar’s success. As noted above, the family-style living gives our children an environment completely different from the more traditional orphanage but In addition to the family-style living, the Family Model provides the children with a structured path to learning social skills and tracking their advancements.
For over ninety years, Boys Town has been a refuge of hope for wayward and orphaned children. Its family-based teaching model has been hugely successful in modifying and forming child behavior using scientific methods coupled with human compassion. The success of the Boys Town model is largely due to the perspective that modification needs to happen by helping troubled youth to learn and replace bad behavior with good behavior.
In mid-2009, Casa Hogar was given the rights for the use of the Boys Town Program under their own name outside the United States. Adapted to meet cultural needs, the program is immediately available for use in Spanish. All training material and resources have been translated, and a training program established. The model is comprised of five components, providing the well-needed balance for child development. They include:
Successful implementation of the program requires a balance in the cross-functioning elements of: administration; training; consultation; and evaluation. Each area is designed with protocols for its function as well as for the overall success of the program. The program, itself, is designed for direct caregivers, but it is imperative for all staff to be trained in it as well so that the necessary teamwork is permitted and accountability upheld..
THE FAMILY MODEL
Often, the couple will have their own children who also live with them. Not only is this great because the kids receive a lot of attention, but also because they are able to see how a husband and wife should interact with and respect each other. In addition, they are able to see how responsibilities are taken care of and shared between a husband and wife. This modeling witnessed during their youth is not only beneficial to their development now, but will also serve them as a reference for when they want to form their own families in the future.
Before a couple can become Family Teachers, they must pass through an intensive two-week training course given by our Program Director. During the course, the Family Teachers learn what our expectations are of them as well as how to interact with the kids. Often two-thirds of those who start the course drop out after the first four days as the standards are kept high to ensure quality among the Family Teachers. Our kids are the reason we are all here and we want to give them the best… this starts with their new “parents.” After all exams are passed and criterion met, the kids welcome their new Family Teachers at a Swearing-In ceremony, where the Family Teachers take oaths to follow the Program and be good role-models.
Even after entering into their new families, the Family Teachers have many meetings, consultations and evaluations in order that the Program is delivered properly and that all of the children’s needs are met.
FAMILY- STYLE LIVING
The most important element of our model of care is the family-style living; this is what differentiates Casa Hogar from any other orphanage or child-care institution in Peru. So many of our kids have never experienced family living because of the absence of one or both parents due to terrorism, sickness, alcohol or drug abuse, jail, and the list goes on. We use the Family Model which is modeled after the Boys Town Program from Nebraska. In this model the children live in families composed of eight children of the same gender and a married couple who serves as surrogate parents to the children.