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In 2014, while working as a foster parent recruiter and home developer, a woman named Amanda Herron was encouraged to read a book that would forever change the way she worked with children and families. The book was called “The Connected Child,” and it outlined a trauma-intervention called Trust-Based Relational Intervention, or TBRI®. Armed with a calling to bring healing to at-risk children, Amanda had spent years serving children and families on the mission field and in churches, providing training in discipline and classroom management. Little did she know that this book would change her entire philosophy of working with children and introduce her to an intervention that went beyond behavior management to healing the hearts of children.
Soon thereafter, Amanda was invited to attend the TBRI® Practitioner training and then later became a TBRI® Educator. She served at a TBRI® camp and worked as a TBRI® Apprentice at the Settlement Home’s Residential Treatment Center in Austin with teenage girls in foster care. It was there that she honed her skills by training and consulting with staff in TBRI®, conducting nurture groups, and working with residents. During a series of monthly meetings for Austin professionals who utilize TBRI®, Amanda and others discussed the idea of creating a TBRI® resource center, a centralized hub that could provide TBRI® training, coaching and resources to families and agency professionals.
In Spring 2017, while working as an MSW intern that provided TBRI® training and coaching to foster and adoptive parents, Amanda sent out a needs assessment to 1,250 TBRI® Practitioners to determine if a TBRI® resource center was needed. Out of 305 participants, over 92% expressed that it was, and 156 participants identified specific ways they would be able to help with the effort. In response to this need, Amanda customized her graduate school classes to lay the foundation for the effort and enrolled in the Nonprofit Leadership and Management program at Austin Community College. Later, while working at a children’s home in the Austin area, Amanda spoke with over 350 biological and adoptive parents who were seeking residential care for their children. Discovering that over 90% of these parents had no idea that their child’s behaviors were connected to trauma only confirmed that TBRI® needed to be made available to these parents.
In September 2020, Nurturing Change was created to answer this need. In August 2020, the mission and vision of Nurturing Change was presented to the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development Leadership Team, which responded with excitement and an offer to provide ongoing guidance and networking support. Nurturing Change was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the state of Texas on September 4, 2020.
In the months that followed, the infrastructure was laid for future services and programs for families, and for the professionals who serve them. In March 2021, Nurturing Change began releasing original TBRI® parenting articles and connecting activities for kids and parents through social media. In June 2021, Nurturing Change began cohosting monthly virtual training and networking meetings for professionals who utilize TBRI® in their work with kids and families. In July 2021, Nurturing Change began offering TBRI® trainings to organizations who serve kids and families. These programs help surround kids with a community of adults who consistently practice trauma-informed care, to support them in their healing.
Presently, we are laying the groundwork to offer TBRI® training classes and coaching to parents, with plans to announce the launch before the end of 2022. We are excited about all that lies ahead, as we continue to strive to offer TBRI® training and support to every family and professional in need of it.