I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who reads this blog a very happy and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I do hope that you are able to spend some special time with family members and friends to celebrate all the blessings of life in this season.
I have been discussing the impact of trauma on our children. It is a serious and significant issue that continues to be a difficult problem facing our children in America, but one in which we have a ray of hope.
Thanks to those who serve our children, from Lakeside Connect
What provides us with that ray of hope are thousands of human service professionals who engage in the lives of children who have experienced various degrees of trauma. These individuals offer our children endless hours of listening, all manner of support and therapy, and the opportunity to heal.
I have the amazing privilege of watching this supportive and nurturing process happen each and every day in our many programs at Lakeside. Not only are we training hundreds of human service professionals in the City of Philadelphia, but we are also providing therapeutic services to 1500 teenagers each year. The stories unfold so encouragingly as our staff lovingly and patiently works through very complex issues—issues that have not only impacted the lives, but relationships and communities of those we serve.
Emotionally draining, years of patience and resilience
The work of helping traumatized children is incredibly stressful. Though rewarding, the work is also emotionally draining. In the midst of government funding cutbacks, dwindling resources and exponentially increasing numbers of children who have experienced such adverse events and require care, these professionals are steadfast in their care and support of many children who would have no one to support them.
It is a job that requires relationships. It necessitates years of patience, strength of character, resilience and clinical skill. And that is why in this season of thanks, I want to acknowledge and express my appreciation to all who tirelessly give of themselves to help those children who are victims of abuse, neglect or other traumatic events.
So, this Thanksgiving season, if you know of someone who is working with children who have been victimized, please thank them for their valuable effort to break the cycle of trauma. These professionals are underpaid, understaffed, overlooked and rarely appreciated. They could use words of encouragement and affirmation. They are doing some of the most worthy work in our country.
I do hope you will have a great time of family celebration and festivities this Thanksgiving. We are diligently working to have more and more families be able to enjoy this holiday in a healthy way by offering help and support to parents and children who have been victimized by trauma. We think there is no better way to be appreciative for all that we have been given. Thank you for continuing to read Lakeside Connect. Happy Thanksgiving!
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network