Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico

by Hogares Teresa Toda
Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico
Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico
Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico
Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico

At Hogares Teresa Toda the quality of the services and the care to our participants is the priority.  For the last six months we have been preparing for a CARF accreditation.  The process has been very gratifying as we, under the scope of an accreditation process, are visualizing the amount of the work that we do and the outcomes.

One of the main goals in our program is to become a Trauma Informed-Center.  We want resilient girls coming out of our program with many possibilities to get a full reintegration.  Below are some of the major outcomes and we want to share with all our donors in gratitude for their support:

1. The Clinical Staff has received certification on Basic Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and CBT Therapy for Children and Adolescent focused on Puerto Rican   Children.

2. Participants are receiving TF-CBT on a weekly basis.   

3. All participants received training on computers basic skills included but not limited to Word, Teams, Power Point, Online search, Excel, etcetera.  The trainings are based on the level of the participants. 

4. 3. The grade average for the first trimester in school was 87%; on the third trimester went up to 90%.  

5. A second nurse was hired.  She is in charge of COVID-19 infection control and prevention education.  Ever since the pandemic started, there has been no positive cases among our participants.  

6. All participants receive recurrent screenings for trauma-related needs with evidence-based standardized instruments.  

7. A Vocational Counselor has been hired.  All eligible participants have a vocational plan completed.  Two participants have been accepted in College.  

8. All staff have been trained on the Family First Act.  

9. All participants have an independent certified nutritional plan.  

10. A comprehensive Health & Safety Plan was implemented.  Regular Medical, Utility Failure, Active Shutter and Natural Disaster Drills have been implemented with 100% of the staff and participants. 

11.  Satisfactions questionnaires are being distributed to the participants.  The satisfaction rate is more than 90%. 

12. 100% of the participants have received annual/semi-annual medical evaluations. 

At Hogares Teresa Toda we work hard to provide not only a home and family environment to our participants but a high-quality care to optimize every tiny possibility of resilience on them.  

Thank you for all your support.  

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Thanksgiving Celebration
Thanksgiving Celebration

2020 has been a year of great lessons, lessons difficult to digest but at the same time lessons that gave us great learning.  In Puerto Rico, we survived several earthquakes at the beginning of the year and keep dealing with a deadly pandemic.  Life changed suddenly and we have been forced to adapt to a new reality. 

In Hogares Teresa Toda the girls completed the semester online. They had access to quality internet and technological equipment needed to attend distanced modality school as a preventive measure for the COVID19. All of them ended the semester successfully but the distance modality represented a challenge to the smallest girls as well as to those who need special education. The institution hired teachers to provide daily support to the girls during the school hours having three teachers during the day and continued with the Tutoring Program in the afternoons.

Our Program was recognized by the Department of Family as we were part of the institutions that were able to continue operations in full during the pandemic. Strict preventive protocols were implemented and as of today, there have no zero Covid positive case in our institution. Regular tests clinics have been implemented being the last one in December where the Department of Health came to the Program and completed 75 antigen tests.

Given the pandemic, all outings and visits to the facility were cancelled. We implemented movie nights, game days and continued with recurrent recreational activities within our premises. It has been difficult to the girls, yet their resilience arouses. We had a small but beautiful Thanksgiving and Christmas Celebrations.

In Hogares Teresa Toda we thank God for all the blessings, the health, the girls that we serve, the support of our community and for Donors like you who believe in our cause and help us heal the life of many girls who suffered abuse or neglect but are leaning that their trauma does not define them just make them stronger.

Happy 2021!

COVID Antigen's Test Clinic December 2020
COVID Antigen's Test Clinic December 2020
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When a caring and loving environment is provided to a child in need, adversity is handled more effectively and resilience is possible. The girls at Hogares Teresa Toda has shown great deal of strength during this year amid the challenges presented: earthquakes, pandemic, distanced education along with the other emotional baggage that they are dealing with related to their exposure to traumatic experiences. Hogares Teresa Toda is proud to say that our participants have raised to the occasion and have being able to complete the school year with an excellent academic performance.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Hogares Teresa Toda served a total of seventeen girls of which fourteen completed their academic year at the facility. The fourteen residents who completed their academic year at the facility passed, seven of them with an overall average of 90% or higher and the other seven with averages of 80% or more. Three girls graduated from the eighth grade and participated in the graduation ceremonies following the security measures adopted in leu of the COVID-19 pandemic. A resident graduated from High School and was accepted to the Universidad del Este, Carolina Campus. This student was admitted to the Social Work program. Another participant was admitted to her school's honor roll.

 Every residents benefited from supervised study and tutoring at the facility Monday through Friday from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. In this space the residents completed their assignments, special projects and studied for their exams.

A total of 396 hours of supervised study was offered.

Due to the situation of the pandemic, during this academic year (2019-2020) all residents took their classes online through different social platforms from March 2020 (Teams, Google Classroom, Zoom and WhatsApp) . The facility provided each resident access to the internet, computers, and tablets. The participants were offered computer classes at the facility where basic skills of the WORD, POWER POINT programs, among others, were taught. 

Hogares had the pleasure of celebrating their achievements in an Award Ceremony taking into account all needed COVID-19 measures. 

Along with the educational plan executed to address the pandemic times, the girls continued to have other therapeutic activities like cooking classes, nails workshops and Games activities among others.  

We thank our donors for their support and wish them good health in these times of adversity.  Thank you fo being present in the life of these girls. You are helping us make the difference.

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We want to start this report by thanking all our recurrent donors for contributing to improve the quality of life of our girls in the program and wishing them good health and many blessings during this difficult time. 

Living in times of Corona Virus has changed the life of all of us and also put another challenge in the life of our foster girls and adolescents.  We are working together to take the best out of them. The aim is to developed resilient human beings so when the time comes that they has to face more adversities they are better equipped to succeed. 

To better manage the time of the residents at home, we have had to change the daily routine of the girls since schools are closed and education is now provided by distance.  The residents are spending more time in the facility. Tutors are coming in earlier to address the educational needs of the residents. We are organizing more extracurriculars activities such as cooking workshops, hand craft sessions, paint and drawing classes, among others.

The challenge that we are facing now is that we are falling short on escort personnel as the girls are now in the house during weekdays.  To face this challenge we are extending and redistributing working schedules as much as we can to make sure that the girls are accompanied at all times. 

The nurse and other clinical personnel have been providing education about the Corona Virus to the residents, and its preventive measures such as social distancing, hand washing, cleaning surfaces and have good nutritional habits to enhance their immune system.  As of today, we do not have any positive case of COVID-19 in our Program.  We are following 100% the stay home order and restricting the number of visitors to our premises. 

The program psychologist and social workers are working with the residents individually to address any concern or stress related to the situation with the Corona Virus.

We are certain that we will succeed these difficult times and become stronger after the fact.

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With great joy, we want to notify you that the girls and young girls of Hogares Teresa Toda managed to finish the school period with excellent academic qualifications. Also, because of the Christmas season, we had a beautiful celebration. This strengthens our family spirit and at the same time the integral growth and development of our girls and young girls.  In addition, we had the Second Meeting of girls and young girls 2019 composed of girls and young girls who received the services from the beginning in the Organization. Many of these women are already professionals, the result of a realization of their lives. It motivates us to move forward to think that everything we do is the Work of God and that we are not alone, that we count on you to make our girls and young girls useful to society.

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Organization Information

Hogares Teresa Toda

Location: Canovanas - Puerto Rico
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Norma Matar
Canovanas, PR Puerto Rico
$26,659 raised of $38,000 goal
254 donations
$11,341 to go
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