OrphanWise Receives United Way Funding for Trauma-Trained Teams Initiative

Stephanie Linkous (right), executive director of the United Way of the Ocoee Region, presents a funding letter to Katie Rinaudo (left), executive director of OrphanWise.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (July 20, 2021) OrphanWise Inc., a charitable organization that equips adult caregivers to work with children who have experienced trauma, today announced its reception of grant funding from the United Way of the Ocoee Region.

The $10,000 grant will allow OrphanWise to launch its Trauma-Trained Teams (TTT) initiative, which is designed to establish a strong community of trained adults to support the region’s most vulnerable children and teens. Using the evidenced-based model Trust Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®), OrphanWise will train parents, teachers, and after-school staff in practical techniques that promote positive mental health outcomes among at-risk youth.

Similar projects provide therapy services to the children themselves. While children can make tremendous improvements though these individual interventions, their day-to-day caregivers may still be at a loss for how to address lingering problem behaviors resulting from trauma.

“Our vision for this project is to see every adult in a child’s life develop an understanding of the impacts of trauma and stress on children and how to help them heal,” said Katie Rinaudo, executive director of OrphanWise. “We want to see caregivers using the same consistent, compassionate approach to tricky behaviors. We are so grateful for United Way’s support of this initiative, and we look forward to the positive impact this project will have on some our community’s most vulnerable kids.”

Grant funding will be used to support four six-hour TBRI® Caregiver Trainings for community organizations in Bradley County, as well as to provide ongoing follow-up support for the organizations and their trainees.

“United Way is constantly looking for ways to address community needs in a deep and lasting manner,” said Jaynese Waddell, Director of Community Impact for the United Way of the Ocoee Region. “We are excited about the work OrphanWise is doing around the mental health of our youth and future community leaders.”

Children and teenagers whose caregivers have participated in TBRI® training have been shown to have significantly improved global functioning and a significant decrease in psychiatric symptom levels. TBRI® reduces youth violence, as one school at a facility for at-risk youth reported a 93 percent decrease in referrals for physical aggression or fighting with peers after just two years of TBRI® implementation. The intervention has also been shown to reduce youth incarceration and drug use, risky sexual behavior in youth, and foster parent turnover.

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About OrphanWise:

Utilizing proven interventions, OrphanWise seeks to connect the best tools and training to those who work with children from hard places – both within the United States and beyond our borders. Our vision is to work in partnership with organizations in the United States and in Latin America to equip adoptive parents, foster parents, children’s homes, teachers, professionals, and churches to work with at-risk and traumatized children in a way that promotes healing and wholeness.

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