A Staff Story: Generations of Chaos
Our staff has worked with children that have been through gut-wrenching experiences. All cases end differently, some children are placed back with their parents and others are adopted into new homes. When working with families and children who are involved with DCS (Department of Child Services), it is important to be mindful that children who have been removed from their home have parents who have also experienced trauma within their lives. Our staff member, Jen, shared a story with us where she was reminded of this.
“I was providing case management and supervised visitation to a family and was able to learn the heartbreaking upbringings of the parents. The father was raised in a neglectful and abusive home, where he was physically and mentally abused for the duration of his childhood. This abuse even went as far as being forced to use heroin at the age of thirteen. He continued to use and abuse heroin throughout his young adult life, living as an addict heading down the wrong path- resulting in a conviction of murder. After being released from prison he met a girl, 20 years his junior, who became the mother to his three children.
These children were then subject to abuse and neglect for the duration of their lives until they were removed by DCS and put with a kinship placement. While in the placement, the parents continued to use and abuse substances, were non-compliant with case management, missed visitations, and were verbally abusive to the children when present.
Ultimately, the case was transferred to another agency when the father threatened his caseworker’s life via text. However, during the time at Whitington, staff and supervisors were able to help advocate for the children, provide support to the parents when it was accepted, and work toward creating a stable life for a family who had only known trauma and chaos.”
Jen’s experience is a prime example of why Whitington strives to reach families early on. We aim to get involved as soon as possible to teach them the life skills to be able to lead self-sufficient lives wherein they can guide and direct others in their center of influence to do the same. Executive Director, Beth Gulino, is often heard quoting a popular Chinese proverb that illustrates this point perfectly: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
If you want to help support our mission to make a difference in the families within our community, you can attend the upcoming Whitington Wine Down, make a donation or simply help us spread the word about who we are and what we do.
We sincerely appreciate your support!