This month’s blog is written by Cassie Ransom, Training Manager at Chaddock. Cassie has worked at Chaddock for 12.5 years and has had different positions over the years but the majority of her time has been spent in the residential setting. Cassie and her husband met at Chaddock and they have one son and two dogs. They enjoy food, cooking and eating out. They also love spending their time together with family and friends.
After planning for shift, I noticed one of our girls had returned with school staff and were waiting at the door. As soon as I opened the door, she bolted, she was a “runner” and fast. I immediately turned back to a teammate and said “let’s go”. She flew out the door to follow and I, not being a track star, ran behind trying to make the necessary phone calls as I caught my breath. We darted through neighborhoods and eventually were able to reach her. She agreed to return and we all welcomed her back to the cottage. We took care of her needs, all got rehydrated and then completed the necessary paperwork.
My blog isn’t really about the kids…
It’s about teams, any team; work teams, cottage teams, or a family team. When I think of Chaddock, I think about strong teams and family.
The other staff in the story is still a good friend of mine, and still works at Chaddock (she knows who she is and will probably tell everyone this story is about her!) We reminisce about our time working together in Chaddock’s residential treatment setting. The thing that made working in the cottages easier was the relationships. My team. Showing up and knowing that your teammates were going to do their best every day and provide quality service no matter what happened. Having others you trusted to help support, encourage, and regulate you when times were tough but also hold you accountable to doing your best.
Not wanting to let each other down or let the kids down.
We weren’t always confident and sometimes we were scared. Caring for children who have experienced trauma brings up a lot of emotions; hearing their stories, working through their struggles, and celebrating their accomplishments, it really is a rollercoaster. It’s important to have a support system whether it’s coworkers, family, or friends. There are memories throughout my career that will stick with me for a long time and when I think back, there is always someone standing by me in those moments that I still trust and know that when they are there, things will be ok.
I had the privilege of supervising a talented group of staff at one point in my career. They once gifted me a random act of kindness (something they were working on with the kids), a total surprise. There were popsicle sticks with inspirational quotes and positive messages.
One read, “behind every successful woman, is a tribe that has her back.” I love my tribe.
At Chaddock, the focus on teamwork is great, due to the fact that we understand how important relationships are in all the work that we do. We put a lot of energy into making sure that the teams we create to support our children, are also teams that can support each other.
We know that many children who have experienced trauma and have disrupted attachment relationships have often experienced caregivers who are unpredictable, inconsistent and unreliable. Due to this fact we recognize how vital it is for our staff, their caregivers while they are with us, to be the opposite. We must be predictable in our responses, in our behaviors and our expectations, consistent in our caregiving (no matter what each day brings) and show up with the reliability that our relationship remains intact. This takes vulnerability, patience, courage, and teamwork. Teamwork is what allows us to be that constant factor in our children’s lives and every child deserves that.