I truly love seeing how what we do makes a difference in the world. When staff talk about their WHY, I get really excited; and the team members working in the Children’s Transitional program do this before children even enter the home! They begin when a referral is made.
Their work starts the day a child is discharged from the hospital and arrives at one of two homes. Our WHY is to help the child and their family develop, knowing the goal is for the child to go home with their family one day. These children arrive with many needs, most require ventilators to help them breathe. Most of the kids we support have spent the first six months of their lives living in a hospital intensive care environment, and their families may have been overwhelmed by their needs. Not all families feel equipped to care for fragile little ones; sometimes their homes simply don’t have the physical space, the financial capacity (including their work schedules), the family support, or other challenge factors to care a child who will also need a visiting nurse.
The Children’s Transitional team will support the child’s health needs, help them develop motor skills, help them communicate their needs, and wean off medical supports as soon as possible. They also help the family develop confidence to hold and care for their child; and send children home as fast as their families are ready. We use the Charting Life Course framework to set goals and develop each child’s trajectory for success.
Our WHY is compelling; we believe children need to live and be loved in the homes of their families. It’s the same belief that leads our work in early intervention. When you have a WHY in mind, you can be creative and look for ways to eliminate barriers. I remember the youngest child to go home since I started at KenCrest; she was only a year old and needed a ventilator at night. Her mom was a special education teacher who needed funding to adapt the power sources in her home for the ventilator, and we helped her raise the funds to do so. It has taken longer for some of the children we support to go home, but there are so many stories of the amazing outcomes they achieved. Some of the children are all grown up now and stay in touch with each other; I marvel at their life achievements!
The staff who work in the Children’s Transitional program are inspired and creative. They are advocates, professional subject matter experts, caregivers, and bearers of hope. Our WHY compels us; and inside each of us who work at KenCrest, exists a WHY. What is yours? What challenges you? What inspires you?