This month’s blog was written by Taylor Flint, Chaddock’s marketing coordinator. Taylor spends her time outside of work baking, knitting, going to church, and spending time with her fiancé, family, and friends! Taylor is always up for grabbing a good cup of coffee, going to a concert, or thrift shopping.

I’ve worked in Chaddock’s marketing department for 6 months. While the feeling of a new job has worn off a bit, the thankfulness I have for being in this position has not!

As the Marketing Coordinator, a major part of my job is posting on all of our social media sites for Chaddock and The Knowledge Center. I spend a lot of time on social media in my personal time, so getting to create content about a cause I care about is a dream job!

Every day, I get to share with our followers about trainings and events we offer, the job openings we have, and the importance of the work our staff does with children and families here. While I love to create all the content, my favorite posts are the ones where you get to see our kids being KIDS!

With my camera in hand, I have gotten to witness and capture some of these moments:

– During the first couple of weeks I worked here, I got to attend a discharge party. One child’s time in our program had come to an end, and so staff and kids gave her a special send-off as she was discharged from our residential program. They gave her gifts, cake, and encouraging words! Standing there, I got teary-eyed hearing staff members and peers tell her what was special about her, the memories they made with her, and just how much growth she made while in Chaddock’s program; I got to see first-hand just how much care goes into our kids’ treatment here.

– Another event I got to capture was the kids’ annual variety show. A number of children got in front of peers and staff members to sing, play instruments, and show off their creative passions. I was so impressed with their abilities and their confidence! They got to show off their skills in front of a big crowd… Something I definitely could not do!

– I also got to see our students’ living history museum at the school. Each child picked a historical figure, learned facts about them, created a poster, and even dressed like them! It was so cool to see how much hard work and creativity they put into these presentations and how proud they were.

My hope is that through our social media, you get a glimpse into these stories and the experiences our children have. I hope you see the humanity of the children we serve, not the stigma that people so often associate with them. I hope you learn more about the trauma that kids can go through and how those experiences can impact them. I hope you see the dedication our staff has to helping children and families heal and the importance of the work they do.

I hope you see that Chaddock gives every child a chance!

Editorial Note:

Many individuals outside of Chaddock struggle to see past the behaviors of the children we work with. This is understandable as often these behaviors are big, loud, unpredictable, sometimes even scary and frightening. Interestingly, those of us that work within the organization often use those same words to describe some of the experiences our children have had and witnessed, prior to joining us.

Developmental trauma refers to multiple, ongoing, pervasive events that impact a child’s development, often occurring at the hands of those that were supposed to take the best care of the child, or within the primary caregiving system. Although we typically work with children who have experienced the most extreme versions of developmental trauma, there are many others out there who are also impacted by more subtle occurrences. For example, a child who is living in poverty, surrounded by community violence, who’s single caregiver abuses alcohol and who cannot meet the child’s needs adequately, leaving the child in a state of fight, flight, freeze.

These children have learned that the adults and the world around them are inconsistent, unpredictable, and unsafe. This results in behaviors that are designed to protect them and keep the adults away from them – behaviors that often look and sound very strange to those who do not understand the child’s story.

We encourage you to look beyond the behavior and ask “what happened to this child?” or, “what’s behind this behavior?” We assure you, it’s not what you might expect.