How are we caring for families and their children in OMF today?
We firmly believe that it is the parents’ responsibility, before God, to raise their children and make decisions regarding their education. OMF offers support, resources and advice to help parents do this well. A brief outline is given below:
- TCK Advisor in the sending country is available to discuss concerns parents may have regarding their children.
- TCK Advisor in the country of service is able to discuss schooling options and the needs of the family.
- This dialogue helps inform the decision-making about where a family is placed.
- Application forms include questions regarding the children’s feelings; older children (pre-teens and above) are asked directly for their thoughts on the planned transition.
- Orientation Course lasts 3 ½ weeks at OMF’s International Center in Singapore, with KidZone as a separate program for the children.
- KidZone is an intentional age-appropriate program to help children cope with transitions, appreciate other cultures, deal positively with emotions, and feel valued as part of the OMF family.
- The Field TCK Advisor has ongoing contact with the family, to help with orientation to the country and then to offer support, advice and encouragement as needed.
- Each family is encouraged, at an early stage, to develop a long range plan for the education of their children, considering such matters as the intended destination for tertiary education and the best timing of transitions.
- Families with OMF choose from a wide range of education options, including national schools (27%), homeschooling and online schooling (30%), international schools (9 %), international Christian schools (29%, and boarding (5%).
- OMF children that board ( mostly secondary students) either attend a boarding school run independently of OMF or board in an OMF-run family style Boarding Home and attend a local day school. OMF Boarding home staff are chosen, screened and supported with particular care because of the tremendous responsibility entrusted to them and the boarding program is constantly improving to be in line with current best practise standards.
- The regular Two Year Review asks parents how their children are doing and about the benefits and challenges of their education. In addition, the two-yearly health review is an in-depth medical check for all, including children.
Return to Sending Country:
- Wherever possible, the TCK Advisor in the home country of the family offers support to young adult TCKs when they are back home.
- Young adults are considered part of the OMF family (in terms of financial support, administration etc.) up to age 24.
David and Ros Dykema,
OMF International Facilitators for TCK Services