I have spent a lifetime working with kids. Most of my work with children has been with teenagers. I very rarely do groups because I prefer to spend time with a young person one-on-one, eyeball to eyeball, heart to heart. Sometimes I only have one opportunity with a kid so it has to count. While many of my children have been hurt by the events of life such as the passing of a family member, bullying, poverty, racism, and various other tragic circumstances, a very large percentage of them have been directly damaged by the actions of adults. The pain is palpable. The scars are both visible and concealed but both are obvious.
April is “National Child Abuse Prevention Month,” when we are encouraged to give special focus to joining together to diminish and hopefully end the abuse of children. This month is a wonderful time for those of us in the child and family rescue business to rise again and reclaim our purpose with a renewed strength and vigor. You may ask, “Haven’t we already risen to the occasion?” I would say yes, but allow me to quote something I read a long time ago and don’t know to whom I should give credit:
“When you reach the top of the mountain, that is when you look at the stars.”
There are times in our lives both personal and professional when it helps to go back to the beginning and remember our passion, our energy and our common commitment to a greater cause. From the storehouse of our memories we can find resolve that can be coupled with knowledge, wisdom, and techniques (and technology) gained through years of experience.
- What you are doing is tied to a greater good. Here at CK you are connected to a community that is making the world a better place.
- The positivity of the early days and reclaim it. Eliminate the negatives.
- Your core values and reconnect to them.
- To celebrate. You are in a community that helps literally hundreds of children and adults. Name them individually and celebrate them out loud!
- To implement learning and innovation. A lot has changed since the “old days.”
- To listen. Listening to co-workers is more important than ever in this world where we tend to communicate through social media and much of the time only see faces on a screen.
- To praise folks. Human beings tend to find their passion better when they are in the context of encouragement and appreciation.
- To be willing to try new things and see them as growth opportunities.
- To appreciate new perspectives. The world has really changed in the last 25 years!
- If you are “just going through the motions” then change the motions.
I was asked recently how much longer I am going to keep going to schools to work with hurting children. I didn’t know how to answer that question. I only knew how to tell them why I keep coming back – because there is always one more. Here at CK Family Services, we are good at what we do – the best, but there is always one more. Let us rise again, and again, and again until every child is safe and every family is secure. May we continue to build a community that intervenes in the lives of hurting families, a commonality that passes the torch from generation to generation so that we can reach the stars.
“We are people united through God to
enhance the physical, emotional and spiritual
well being of at-risk children and families.”