Treating the Whole Child
“The traditional medical model approach to treatment focuses on finding a definitive root cause for mental health and other concerns in children and medicating the child accordingly. What the current approach fails to do is to evaluate the bigger picture and overall wellness. The Whole Child treatment approach, on the other hand, allows clinicians to focus on assessing and treating the unique needs of each child. This way, the clinician is able to identify appropriate pathways, methods, and goals that best support each, unique individual.” -Jennifer Hampton, You Care. We Care. Clinical Programs Chair.
You Care. We Care.’s services in Petite Riviere De Nippes, Haiti are focused on changing the traditional medical model approach to treatment for the children we serve in this Southwest Haiti community. By providing advanced professional training in assessment, care planning and treat-ment to staff and local human services professionals, we strive to treat each and every child ho-listically. “This approach is about assessing all aspects of the child’s life and providing individu-alized care planning to support the child in a stable, safe and supportive learning environment,” says Jennifer.
In additional to professional training and providing routine healthcare to children, our organization focuses on identifying and providing individualized preventive healthcare services, such as early intervention and occupational therapy. You Care. We Care. also provides creative therapeutic pro-gramming, including dance, sports and yoga, to enhance and improve the physical, cognitive and emotional abilities of children. “Our residential program provides long and short-term solutions to children that have specialized needs in mental health and trauma, so it is important to have a lot of different “treatment tools” in our Clinical tool belts,” Jennifer adds.
As You Care. We Care.’s Clinical Programs Chair, Jennifer comes to the organization with over 15 years of Clinical experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses and needs, in-cluding autism, physical and learning disabilities, trauma, and psychiatric needs, to name a few. It was Jennifer’s work with children in the U.S. foster care system and local Haitian families that led her to be involved with You Care. We Care.
“From a young age, I had a passion for wanting to help others. In foster care services, we often worked with Haitian families. Through this work, I was made aware of the issues that people face in Haiti in a very real way which sparked my interest to be involved and help where I could,” Jennifer says.
For the children in our Haiti Program, the Whole Child treatment approach has made a world of difference. Most children have exhibited tremendous progress from a developmental, educational and overall wellness perspective.
“Our number one goal is to build a strong foundation for the children we serve. In my experi-ence working with traumatized children, the Whole Child treatment approach is incredibly effec-tive because it is tailored to the individual child’s areas of need. Whole Child treatment allows the child to rebuild their strengths and helps them carve out a path for their own life. You need to start somewhere to build hope. The earlier we begin our work with families and children, the more opportunities there are to create a positive impact in a child’s life.”