The Refuge Circle of Care
What do we mean by a “Circle of Care?” Some people refer to this as a continuum of care, but we like the circle analogy. We want to appropriately and sensitively surround each girl with the services she needs for her individualized healing plan. These services will be critical relational points of entry into the life of each girl in order to convey love, safety, and care.
THe Refuge CIRCLE OF CARE™
What is The Refuge Circle of Care™? Some people refer to this as a continuum of care, but we like the circle analogy since we want to appropriately and sensitively surround each girl with the services she needs for her individualized healing plan. These services are ongoing throughout her entire stay with us and are critical relational points of entry into the life of each girl in order to convey love, safety, and care.
Our entire staff is trained in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) and receives other on going professional training specific to the care of child survivors of sex trafficking. The girls living at The Refuge Ranch attend weekly one-on-one therapy sessions with in-house licensed therapists specializing in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, sand tray therapy, experiential therapy, equine therapy, and more, based on their individual needs. They also have the opportunity to participate in group therapy with other survivors. To round out the holistic approach we provide psychiatric medication management, art, farming/agricultural activities, gardening, yoga, dance, self-defense, music, etc., as daily enrichment options for self-regulation and body awareness.
Participating in activities outside The Refuge Ranch and developing community connections can be beneficial to the healing process. A wide variety of social activities are available when appropriate, such as educational field trips, personal shopping outings, group events and more. Although each resident has her own room and bathroom, we put an emphasis on learning how to engage in positive peer and adult relationships, including healthy conflict resolution and assertiveness training.
Our staff and volunteers share a common faith as followers of Christ. Our spiritual guidance with the girls is based on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Placed at various points around The Refuge Ranch will be gardens and micro chapels for reflection and prayer. These small, stand-alone chapels will be places for the girls to get away and have personal time to journal, reflect, pray, sing, etc. While we are a faith-based organization, we do not force our beliefs on any of our girls. We always operate in an accepting, loving, non-judgmental manner. We have a nondiscriminatory policy and we provide care to all the girls regardless of their race and religion.
Every girl who has experienced the complex trauma of repeated sexual abuse by multiple offenders needs ongoing medical care. In partnership with many multi-disciplinary medical groups and specially trained in-house medical staff, all girls receive compassionate medical care for proper physical healing. In addition to helping make their bodies healthier, we also want to help them become physically stronger. An on-site workout room, organized outdoor sports, and walking/jogging trails help promote healthy living and stress release as they heal.
The Refuge Ranch is honored to be chosen as a site for a University of Texas Charter School. With this addition to The Refuge Circle of Care™, the girls are ensured the opportunity to re engage their education, increasing their chance for future success. By being part of the UT Charter School System, girls at The Refuge will be taught by highly skilled faculty, staff and administrators, all required to hold special education certification in addition to subject-area certification, and training in trauma informed care specific to child survivors of trafficking. Once the girls graduate with their high school diplomas, they have the opportunity to enroll in Austin Community College on-line classes.
Independent living/job skills
We understand that our girls are eager to live on their own one day and they will need a wide variety of skills to be successful. While in treatment, there are many opportunities to learn job and independent living skills through educational and/or professional experiences, including cooking, budgeting, healthy work ethics, money management, interviewing, resume writing, team work, leadership and general professionalism. Our goal is to introduce and incorporate “normal” teenage activities into our program based on each girl’s interests and dreams.
If appropriate and healthy for the girls, our goal is to successfully reunite her with her immediate family or relatives in some way, through letters, monitored phone calls, visits and family therapy. In addition, throughout her treatment journey at The Refuge Ranch, she will be connected to a variety of community resources to lend support both now and when she leaves. These sources include things like mentors, community groups (such as police departments, advocates, etc.) and other survivors.