Building Knowledge

In each country of service, Whole Child works with a prominent university to develop a disciplinary focus on childcare and create an infrastructure for training significant numbers of caregivers and other stakeholders in high-quality care for vulnerable children. These programs serve to prepare current and future professionals to implement best-practice-based systems of care, and they guarantee sustainable, permanent change that is led by the country’s own community of practice.

With our partners, the University of Central America and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, we have developed and implemented two distinct educational and training programs for diverse stakeholders in care for a country’s most vulnerable children:

University Certificate Program

For a country’s leading stakeholders, such as ministry decision-makers, justices who determine placement, technical staff, and center directors, we have created a university-accredited certificate program to establish a comprehensive set of the latest best practices in childcare in limited-resource settings in the developing world. We develop and teach this program with a leading university to build local academic capacity over time while also considerably reducing the cost of the training trainers — a key component of our program.  Whole Child developed the curriculum (see Publications for more information) for this certificate program with Loyola Marymount University and the University of Central America, and will continue to adapt it for every country of service.

Caregiver Training & Mentoring

For caregivers and other residential and childcare center staff who work day-to-day with children, we provide training and mentoring in the application of optimal childcare practices. Designed for staff with a range of educational backgrounds and levels of literacy, our caregiver training takes place once a month for nine months and is complemented by hands-on technical training and sustained mentoring for all caregivers who are directly responsible for the care of children. Please see our Publications page for an introduction to some of the materials we have developed for this training process.

To explore how these academic partnerships impact life for children in a country’s orphanages and low-resource childcare centers, please visit Whole Child’s Notes from the Field, a blog written by our field staff and the U.S. team.
Our graduation ceremonies at the end of our training courses and certificate programs honor professionals ranging from government ministers to key care center administrators to the technical staff and the caregivers who devote their lives working with some of the most vulnerable children in the world.

For many of the caregivers, the ceremony can be an especially emotional event: for some, it is first time they have ever been formally honored for their knowledge, commitment, and the importance of the work they do.