Child Welfare Worker Recognition Day – September 20th
We live in the age of Superheroes (and Sheroes!). Seems every week there’s a new blockbuster film filled with buff and creatively costumed beings in a desperate attempt to save the world from complete destruction. These films make billions of dollars and spur sequels and prequels as the hunger for the Good Guys take on the Bad Guys story keeps growing.
When I was a kid, my brothers were avid comic book readers and collectors. I have a few yellowed copies, sold for 10 cents, some 13 cents. It’s amazing to me that these characters with their colorful clothes and their strange, but appealing super-powers have endured—and that they’ve captured the imagination of millions, especially young people.
I mention all this because September is national Child Welfare Worker month and I think often about the incredible courage, tenacity, vision, strength, talent—and, yes, “super-powers” that our staff summon each and every day as they partner with our children and families to overcome the perils they face in their lives. Our mission is not for the “faint of heart.” When we are called to enter the life of a child, a family, it’s often in a time of deep pain and confusion. It’s easy to understand why a first reaction to meeting you may not be a welcome hug. They are coping with loss, uncertainty and often have been let down by the people who were supposed to be helping them. Fear is rampant and the trauma of the recent events may also trigger past trauma making hope and healing seem impossible.
And that’s where YOU come in. You summon the very best you have to offer so that hope can be restored and the complicated, at times treacherous and almost always frustrating path forward can be forged. You say “Yes! We can do this’’ and you continue to focus on taking the next right steps so that children can grow up loved, safe and thriving in forever families. Our BestStat* results demonstrate our ongoing passion for finding ways to improve our work and our results.
Over the last few years, the Board of Trustees has held several learning sessions to understand our work more deeply. Charlie Gofen, who serves as Chair of the Board, told me recently that the more he learns about our work, the more he sees how incredibly complex and difficult it is. He –and the entire board—are committed to finding ways so that the staff has the support (and compensation) that is essential to achieve the very BEST RESULTS—for every child and family.
September 20th is a day to nationally recognize and acknowledge the amazing commitment you make to the children and families we serve. Throughout the day, we will be celebrating you in a number of ways, including sharing your stories on Facebook and Twitter. Please know that every day, you are appreciated, valued and that your tireless efforts are creating bright futures. You are the REAL Superheroes in our world. Thank you!
*Children’s Home & Aid is committed to using data to measure results and inform continuous program improvement. Our goal is to: set evidence-based goals that describe the change each program will achieve; regularly collect data on client progress towards goals; and use data to drive service decisions and constantly improve programming. In 2015, Children’s Home & Aid began implementing BestStat. Every two months, each program presents the latest data on key metrics to senior agency leadership. Trend data on each Theory of Change outcome is reviewed to understand outcome trends and determine if goals are being met.