The mission of WhimSpire is: “To reclaim and empower youth to become positive participants in their community.” The framework WhimSpire uses to assist in accomplishing its mission is inspired by the Native American “Circle of Courage” developed by Dr. Brendtro and Brokenleg. The principles in the Circle of Courage have been used in the child rearing practices by Native peoples for centuries. The Circle of Courage principles differ from traditional philosophies by building on the strengths and internal power of youth instead of taking a more punitive approach. In addition, they rely on the community as a whole to contribute to the well-being of the individual, instead of focusing on the youth exclusively.
WhimSpire has adopted the “Reclaiming Model” from the Reclaiming Youth at Risk; Our Hope for the Future. All WhimSpire foster parents receive a copy of this book when they are certified. Most simply put, the Reclaiming Model features four main tenets as a guide for working with children: Belonging, Independence, Mastery, and Generosity. Each of these principles intertwines with one another to assist in raising wholly successful adults. Almost every interaction that we have with a child can be shaped around the promotion of these principles.
The Spirit of Belonging: Feeling part of a circle of caring and loving people — whether related or not, helps to strengthen and validate a youth’s notion of his worth in society.
The Spirit of Mastery: Facilitation of small success encourages youth to strive for bigger success.
The Spirit of Independence: The purpose of any external discipline is to build internal discipline.
The Spirit of Generosity: In reaching out to help another, one breaks free from preoccupation of the self.