Regardless of someone’s age, gender, culture or background, there are some things each of us needs to reach the potential God has placed within us.
Cal Farley’s has identified six such areas of need. We work to help each child in our care meet these needs in his or her life in order to provide our young people with the richest, most fulfilling life possible.
While our model is not linear – many areas of need can be met simultaneously – it’s also fair to say that everything begins with the first value, safety.
Before a child can feel free to put negative behavior or harmful circumstances behind him or her, the child absolutely must feel a strong sense of personal safety. Cal Farley’s first priority in every situation is making certain the youth we care for are physically and emotionally safe. We strive to create an atmosphere of safety through appropriate levels of supervision and an environment that meets needs and provides positive opportunities for instruction.
Like all of us, the children at Boys Ranch long to make meaningful connections with other people. The sense of belonging that flows from these relationships helps each child develop a positive sense of self and establish healthy templates he or she will use in their relationships throughout their adult lives.
A child who feels he or she belongs to something important, whether the object they identify with is a family, a church or a social group, is less likely to ask ‘What’s wrong with me?’ or other expressions of self-doubt, and more likely to instead reflect thoughts such as ‘What abilities do I possess to help my family/church/friends?’ or ‘What is my vision for my future?’
In other words, developing a healthy sense of belonging supports a strong, self-confident child. It helps him or her develop the ability to accomplish tasks, to display compassion and increases his or her sense of security. All this, in turn, helps a child’s developing brain experience positive benefits in other areas, such as personal exploration and adventure.
As a child’s individual needs are met, each area of strength empowers the child to greater explorations of individuality, of career aspiration and more. Cal Farley’s shows every child we serve how to meet his or her needs in healthy, sustainable ways that help each unique individual to reach his or her potential!
Everyone, whether child or adult, needs to feel protected from intentional hurt or humiliation. The children we serve must feel safe in their environment before healing can begin. Once a child feels safe, he or she can focus on simply being a child, and not feel burdened with the worries of the world.
Each individual was created by God for a purpose larger than themselves. As our youth develop insights in to their unique gifts and talents, they are better able to contribute in a meaningful way to their communities.
Strong relationships between children and caregivers build interpersonal understanding and allow children and their parents to experience dignity, self-respect and joy. A developed sense of belonging provides the confidence to transform from a frightened, unsure person into a connected, caring individual.
Working together toward common goals connects clients’ and team leaders’ unique gifts to build an individual’s confidence. It lays the foundation for a person to pursue higher dreams and overcome adversity.
We help those we serve transform the challenges they face into opportunities for growth. Their daily life experiences become teachable moments to develop personal responsibility and self-discipline as they learn from failure, face the frustrations and, ultimately, learn to make wise decisions for their lives.
Our daily lives were meant to be filled with moments of passion and significance! By encouraging reasonable risk, innovation and laughter, families learn to identify the balance between work and play, and can more deeply experience the excitement in daily life. Learn more about our model here.
Live the Brand — belonging
Building your child’s sense of belonging takes a great deal of effort. Build a stronger bond with your child by looking for common interests. Share experiences you’ve had with which they might identify. Or, tell him or her stories of a time you overcame a problem similar to something your child is facing to help eliminate “it’s just me” thinking. And, be a good listener! Demonstrate you value your child’s presence and opinion. Create fun opportunities for togetherness, and provide an environment free of judgment. Most of all, be patient. Creating belonging takes time, so be prepared to invest the time in your child!