The old saying "It takes a village to raise a child" continues again and again to prove itself true. A child needs a community to help become fully developed mentally, emotionally and socially. So how does this affect our approach to treatment? In a word, collaboration.
Kids who are struggling or have experienced trauma need group support even more and we take an integrative community approach to working with them. Victor staff coordinates with parents, relatives, teachers and state agencies to make sure that we can fully support children through difficult times. We celebrate the everyday heroes at Victor who meet this challenge head-on and help to wrap a community of care around kids and families in need.
One such success story comes from our VCSS Redding site where Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist, Sam Sleezer and Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, Jebediah Hall got to celebrate a win working with an 11-year-old boy who was missing a lot of school and struggling with suicidal thoughts.
This particular young man had actually missed more days of school than he attended, frequently ran off campus and was feeling hopeless with thoughts of suicide. He was in danger of being placed in a community day or non-public school. Sam and Jebediah started working with him in March of 2017. During the course of his treatment they worked very closely with his mother as well as school staff to provide a collaborative approach to his treatment.
The process began with securing the client an IEP and helping the school to complete a behavior plan for him. The school was also very accommodating in allowing them to work on campus and in class with the client. His mother and teacher participated in Student Success Team Meetings and Child and Family Team Meetings. Most recently the Special Education Director and teacher worked with Sam and Jebediah to secure occupational therapy services for the client, to help him with his sensory processing issues. The occupational therapist was kind enough to sit down with Sam and Jebediah to provide them with some brief training on how to extend sensory integration activities into our services with the client. Through the collaboration process and efforts of all of the team members serving this child he has made substantial progress since opening.
Previously, the client was unable to participate in school events due to his lack of attendance and poor grades. He had missed out on many life and leisure activities due to avoidance because of his sensory integration issues. This school year the client was able to attend his first reward event for maintaining good attendance and grades. He is also performing well enough that he qualifies to try out for basketball for the first time, which he is very excited about. His mother says that he carved his own pumpkin, including scooping out the guts, for the first time this year, and the client recently shared that he self-initiated trying turkey and wearing jeans for the first time. He has started to take pride in his school work and attendance and has even shared that he feels more confident in himself and his abilities.
The progress this young man has made would not have been possible without the high level of collaboration and teamwork put forth in this case. We want to share this story both to honor the client’s success and to shine a light on the importance of collaborative work and the good that can come from it.
Want to inspire positive change in the lives of others? Consider a career at Victor.