Updated: May 3
This month's blog is written by Clayton Davis, an overnight youth worker in Wesley Cottage. Clayton is a native to Quincy, IL. He grew up playing a large variety of sports such as: football, wrestling, swimming and diving, track and pole-vaulting, and rifle team. In 2015 he performed in the Quincy Community Theater's production of Camelot. His current hobbies are riding his Harley Davidson, disc golf, writing philosophy, and soon gym workouts. Clayton is a father, and the youngest sibling in his family. Hello, I'm Mr. Clayton, as I’m known around campus. I was hired at Chaddock in March of 2022. I built my career on sales, but I have now found myself working at Chaddock in the residential cottages. Just in Quincy alone I've sold for many different companies, so why am I at Chaddock?
I won’t lie, Chaddock was my fallback for medical device sales. However, my career had to slow down due to me not having enough time for my family. I was attracted to the Full- and Part-Time opportunities available at Chaddock, as well as its prestige as an employer in the Quincy community. Not to mention all of the wonderful benefits for its employees. Chaddock has all the check marks for good employment, but little did I know how much I would have to look inside myself in order to be committed to this occupation.
The interview and on-boarding process was very professional and organized. I received extensive training over a 3-day period. I was even scheduled to meet with the cottage I would be working in for 4 hours over a two-day period, prior to my overnight work. Everything was mapped out and going well. Then I got to meet our clients.
I'll let you decide what my first hour and a half was like, and yes, you’re probably right. But from what I observed, our clients are just kids. After my first week, I found myself looking within and at my own past as a child. I concluded that Chaddock is not only a safe haven, but necessity for these children and youth.
After working with the staff and my team, I believe I have what it takes to become an asset to the residential services and grow as an individual. In many ways, I was probably meant to work at an organization such as this, as a path laid down before me. I am humbled, honored and proud to be a staff member at Chaddock.
We are blessed at Chaddock with a leadership team that understands the value of training all staff, new or old. The purpose of which is two-fold: 1) to allow us to continue to grow as professionals and keep up-to-date with best practices, and 2) to ensure that we are all on the same page for the children.
However, when you work in a field that serves people who have experienced relational trauma and disrupted attachment, there is only so much training you can do before you understand that the most powerful information you have comes right from within. Our ability to reflect on our own experiences, the way we respond to situations, how we interpret others and what we bring to each interaction with a child is what will ultimately determine whether we heal or hurt another within the relationship.
We also understand that our children really are just kids. We know that this can be hard for many to comprehend, especially when those kids are demonstrating behaviors that are much younger (or older) their developmental years. It can also be challenging to accept when a child is able to complete a task one day, but not the next. How many times did it take you to learn something new recently?
We challenge you to look within next time you find yourself in conflict with a child.