Staffing For Success
How commitment to new employees is shooting Casa Mi Esperanza off to a successful start.
November 24, 2017 - Honduras
In July of 2017, Casa Mi Esperanza, NPH’s newest home, a “passageway house,” opened in Catacamas, Honduras. This community outreach program provides a safe family-style environment for children who are transitioning between an unstable living situation and hopefully a new stable home, either with biological family, or possibly another children's home.
In August of 2017, just one short month in, of course there are growing pains. Children have been successfully accepted and released out of the home, many to family members, but as with any new program, staff and directors are constantly evaluating and reassessing their work.
But now, in October, the program is finding more stability. There are new decorations on the walls and the caregivers have more confidence and grace in their work.
“At first, yes everything was a bit tense,” laughs the home’s director, Cristian Aguilar, a former NPH pequeño himself. “But what we have done in the past month, especially in regards to the staff, is made everything as organized as we can. We have a lot more thorough and orderly work schedule for each shift of tios and tias (the caregivers), so now, everything is more ‘tranquilo.’ Everyone knows their specific work duties, and what they have to do in relation to all of the other employees, and everyone knows a little more of what to expect out of their day.”
Head Tio Jose Luis - formerly a tio at NPH Honduras’ El Rancho Santa Fe, comments on the most important administrative task, the personnel.
“As time has gone on, caregivers are getting more and more comfortable around the children and each day we see improvements. We are learning from experience, and figuring out what strategies are effective for kids who are with NPH for shorter amounts of times. Instituting daily schedules with educational, and religious activities ensures that we are keeping them engaged. You can see the change from two months ago until now, its very apparent.”
But it is not just how the staff is organizing themselves. The pride is apparent in both Christian and Jose Louis, ‘Tio Jose’ continues:
“For me, all of the tios we have working, across the 24 hours of the day, all three shifts, are doing really, really well. And when things don’t go well, which is bound to happen, they are great about looking for support from me, Christian, or other tios. Always asking, ‘What can we do? How does this new idea sound? How should we do this differently next time?’ And then on our part, we try and respect their work and give them space to do things their way. Everyone is working great because we all trust and support in the work that we do as a team.”
And most importantly, this confidence and improvement is seen in the staff that makes its way into the lives of the kids. Jessy,* a 13-year-old who spent the past three weeks at Casa Mi Esperanza, happily reports: “I am so excited to be able to go home to be with my mom next week! But, I will miss it here. Saying goodbye to my new family of tios and tias will be hard.”
And that, as Christian puts it, is the mission of what Casa Mi Esperanza does.
“We want this house to be a home. We want them to feel comfortable with us, in the tios and tias. We want them to be able to leave, to be able to live with their families. But when they go, we want to know and be proud that we have done a good job for them."
*Names changed to protect privacy