October is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Awareness month (also referred to as Domestic Violence Awareness), a month dedicated to raising awareness about IPV, the impact it has on families, and how community members can work together to stop cycles of abuse from continuing and even starting. As the month ends, we are taking time to discuss the realities of intimate partner violence within the lives of families in our care and how deeply it impacts the way children navigate their healing and growth.
Welcome to our Blog! We post weekly articles written on a variety of topics from a variety of people, including our staff, volunteers, community members, and our parents and youth. The Voices of our Blog are opinion pieces, reflecting the diverse experiences and viewpoints of our community. These articles are not meant to represent the views of everyone at FCNI, our Board of Directors and staff, or present a definitive policy statement, but are designed to be informative and thought-provoking.
I have worked with kids and young adults who have been wounded by life for the past 23 years. While there has been a good learning curve along the way, I still feel like I am just beginning to understand how trauma and abuse affect the heart and soul of us humans, and how best to help people along a healing path.
Reflect back on your teenage years. What moments stand out as your favorites? When did you finally feel like an adult; when did you get your first taste of independence? Maybe it was your first job, getting your driver’s license, going to prom, getting accepted into college, or maybe it was making your first purchase on your own debit card. These “favorite moments” not only felt empowering and positive, but they also taught you life skills and started to prepare you for adulthood.
When I first started working at Family Care Network I was so excited but also nervous. Very quickly though, I found myself feeling very “at home” here. As I was given the chance to meet more and more of my co-workers, I started to realize that I had been given a wonderful opportunity. My previous work history was largely in retail, and the career I have now is something I always wanted but never thought I could have.
This week I enjoyed one of my favorite parts of my job: celebrating with my clients. As I walked with Reyna* to get the first ice cream of summer break and she recounted the details of her recent middle school graduation, I was struck yet again by her radiating joy as bright as her yellow sweater. We pointed out every dog we saw, made jokes, shared favorite stories, and she talked about her dreams for the future. Her voice was chipper as she thanked the cashier and as she asked me if we could eat our ice cream in the park.