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Victor Clients Record their own CD!

Posted by Victor Staff on August, 08, 2018

Jon Fournier has been in the mental health industry for about seven years, but prior to that he had aspirations to become an audio production engineer. He worked for several years pursuing that dream and learning the skills and thought it might become his career.  But with changing technology and the ease of self-producing, audio engineering became relegated to more of a hobby. Jon changed directions and went back to school to pursue a degree in psychology from Chico State, and then went on to the Wright Institute in Berkeley to complete their program in counseling psychology.

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Topics: Staff Stories

Mike Hernandez Inspires Coworkers: "You Get What You Give."

Posted by Victor Staff on July, 20, 2018

Where do you find inspiration? Your church, friends, family? What inspires you when you have a tough week and need encouragement? For Mike Hernandez, he has found that "You get what you give." Offering encouragement and inspiration to his friends and coworkers helps Mike to stay positive and motivated.

The first Thursday of every month, Mike sends out an encouraging text to his friends and coworkers. This is a tradition he started last year and has stuck with. Mike likes encouragement, words of affirmation are his love language. He paraphrased a quote he likes from Zig Ziglar saying, "When you encourage others, you are also encouraged in the process, because you are making a commitment and a difference in that person's life. I try to give out what I want to get."

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Topics: Staff Stories

Adjusting to Civilian Life in Barstow, CA

Posted by Victor Staff on July, 13, 2018

After multiple deployments to Iraq, a Soldier was coming home for good, but after living in a war zone that's easier said than done. Every time he returned  home from deployment in the past, he felt like a piece of him was missing. This time was no different. He didn't feel like the same Soldier, the same Man he once was.  Emotionally he didn't feel the same, and physically he was different as well. 

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Topics: family services

Victor Success Stories: Family Reunification

Posted by Victor Staff on June, 29, 2018

Family reunification is a long and difficult process however, when we can achieve it for our clients it is one of the most emotional and rewarding experiences imaginable. For a parent who has lost touch with their own child, there is no greater joy than being reunited and having the opportunity to establish a meaningful family bond.

At Victor, we work hard to find solutions that keep children from staying in the foster system for longer than they need to. For the over 400,000 children in foster care nationwide, the average time spent in the system is between 12 and 20 months. That's a long time for a child to be away from their parents, so we focus on providing structure and counseling right from the start. Our goal is to build a good foundation underneath kids that may feel brushed aside.

This particular story comes from our site in Stockton, CA. where the mother had struggled with addiction, mental health problems, and other medical issues. Through Victor's Katie-A program this parent worked closely with her daughter's treatment team to establish healthy boundaries and reconnect with her daughter.

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Topics: family services

Victor Staff Story: Mark Callahan

Posted by Victor Staff on June, 19, 2018

Mark Callahan knows a thing or two about working at Victor. He started there in 2001 and after 17 years, the only thing that has worn out is his office chair. Mark is still inspired and going strong.

Mark didn't start his career in mental health and didn't even have a background in it when he started at Victor. Mark was a teacher, and he has always had a strong connection with youth. Mark's best friend was working at Victor and encouraged him to apply. Even though he didn't have any mental health credentials, Victor saw something in Mark that aligned with their values.

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Topics: Staff Stories

COA Reviewers "Blown Away" by the Excellence of VCSS

Posted by Victor Staff on June, 04, 2018

The National Council on Accreditation, also known as COA, awards one of the most comprehensive and highly recognized accreditations at the national level. Two of the three Victor agencies have already been awarded this accreditation (Victor Treatment Centers and Rosemary Children’s Services), while Victor Community Support Services only recently underwent review to add the COA accreditation to its list of credentials. The process is very thorough and the COA reviewers visited three of our sites in San Joaquin, Shasta and Nevada counties.

Their reaction was nothing short of astonishment at the quality of Victor's services, structure and staff. Doug Scott, CEO, outlined the process in a letter to the whole Victor organization, and his assessment of their feedback was simply this: 

“They were "blown away."

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Topics: News

Structure is Love: The Lessons of 22 Years at Victor

Posted by Victor Staff on May, 29, 2018

In her 22 years working at Victor, Cassandra Martin has touched the lives of countless young men and women. She prides herself on "meeting people where they are at," because every case is different; everyone comes from a different background and the first step in helping them is getting to know them. Once you know them, you have an idea of what approach is best for where they are at in their life. Cassandra never planned to work at the same place for 22 years and counting, she stayed because she loves the work. Victor appreciates the value of her contribution, both to the organization and the community.  Cassandra says, "I truly love the organization that I work for, their values and what they stand for."

Cassandra moved to California from Michigan and was working as a teacher's aid in San Bernardino when a student who was living in a Victor group home encouraged her to come and work there. At first, Cassandra thought she might just try to get a part-time job there until it was time to take her exams. She applied and was hired, and over two decades later she hasn't looked back.

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Excitement About Victor in Hemet, CA

Posted by Victor Staff on May, 23, 2018

Victor's Hemet office opened in March of 2018 to a community that welcomed us with open arms. Hemet is a city in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County, California. One fun fact about Hemet is that the city is known for being the home of The Ramona Pageant. Started in 1923, the play is one of the longest running outdoor plays in the United States. We had the opportunity to speak with the new Executive Director of VCSS Hemet, Alana Dunn.

Although Ms. Dunn is new to the Executive Director position, she has actually been with Victor for over 12 years! She was instrumental in starting the Lake Elsinore site and is now excited about the impact Victor can make in Hemet. Here's what she had to say about their progress:

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Topics: Staff Stories

Joseph Olvera's Client Success Story

Posted by Victor Staff on May, 10, 2018

Joseph Olvera has been working with Victor for over 12 years.  Providing excellent, and passionate service to our kids and families. We are grateful for his contribution and asked him to share a story with us from his many years with Victor. Here's what he had to tell us:

"Upon recalling this particular client I remember driving into a picturesque neighborhood, complete with American flags perched on the eaves of every house above well manicured lawns and flower beds.  I was cordially received into the home with an offering of a bottle of water and baked goodies from the parents.  I felt like if I had asked for warm apple pie the mother would have responded “do you want a crumb topping or just regular, cause we have both”.  As we got to know each other the parents told me about their adopted son who was now 14 and how he had never really connected with any therapist he saw, leaving most therapists to primarily work with them on how to deal with their son.  They shared their hardships over the previous few years in which they “lost control” of him to due to him having another life online and preferring his time on the computer to interactions with real people and how he used to refuse to get off the computer and go to school. This power struggle ultimately resulted in the client being placed in a residential treatment facility where he felt betrayed by his parents for “leaving” him there.  Since returning home they had struggled to build trust with him, set boundaries surrounding preferred activities, and help him learn to take responsibility.

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Topics: Staff Stories

Supporting Youth With Gender Dysphoria

Posted by Victor Staff on May, 01, 2018

At Victor Community Support Services we encourage all of our employees to share their stories of success, progress, or even just a small victory that lets them know they are making a difference for someone.

The need for support services for youth with gender dysphoria is on the rise. These are often complicated situations involving youth that are at a transitional stage of development, families that may or may not understand and social and cultural expectations that may not align with how this young person is feeling.

In a recent paper by Diane EhrensaftPh.D. called Gender nonconforming youth: current perspectives, she says:

The field of interdisciplinary treatment for gender nonconforming children and youth has not just expanded at an astronomically fast rate; to switch metaphors, it has rather been such as a tsunami, with a swell of children and families seeking support and services and stretching existing gender clinics and programs at their seams. This cohort of young people includes those who do not accept the sex assignment given to them at birth, those who do not accept their culture’s expectations and rules about gender roles and gender behaviors, and those who present with a combination of both.

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Topics: Staff Stories

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