It is hard to believe that this week we will be ringing in the year 2014. Ushering in a new year brings both a time of reflection for what has happened in the past year and what we anticipate in the year to come. So, we have some thoughts to share.
Room for change, for better
Our nation is blessed with abundant opportunities and advantages that greatly benefit our children and families. However, there are many ways systems that deal with various processess involving our children need to be upgraded if not overhauled.
I firmly believe our future as a nation very much depends on how we care for and motivate our children.
With deep and numerous financial cuts to our educational systems, human services systems, healthcare systems and other government-sponsored family-related programs, serious consequences occurred which made it very difficult for children and teenagers with significant needs to get the help they truly need. Further, because so many of our systems are overwhelmed and overburdened (and understaffed), the systems cannot possibly adequately care for these children and families with such needs.
It is my hope that we will continue to raise awareness of the deficits within our systems and the needs of our children and families. The only way to effect change to inadequate systems is to take a sober look at them and begin to work at a prevention level before situations become unmanageable.
I can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution than for our country to evaluate carefully where we are in our care for our children.
Please join in efforts to work diligently to:
- help parents provide healthier homes for children
- provide safer, well-equipped schools for their education
- educate all child-care workers in how to nurture children in an emotionally healthy way
- to work with professionals to help raise awareness about the impact of trauma on our children and teenagers.
At Lakeside, for these causes, we are hoping to be more of a resource now and in the years to come.
We feel very privileged to be able to offer training, consultation and programs for those who care for children and teenagers.
For those who are caregivers of children…
It is a good time to evaluate each of our own families by asking what has happened in the past year because it offers an opportunity to affirm our children and teenagers. We should always be ready to make sure to nurture their potential and tell them how much they are loved. Yes, there will always be things that need to be improved, and these topics also should be a part of the discussion. However, too often we are so focused on the negative that we forget to affirm the positive.
We all have opportunities to create and develop healthy environments for those in our care. Let us commit to strive to create safety, love and hope for the future of our country and our children.
I do hope you and your family have a great year-end and a very happy and healthy New Year. Happy 2014 to you all and thanks for reading Lakeside Connect.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network