Today, we all work in silos with our heads down and our noses to the grindstone. This self-imposed isolation adds to the burn out rate in social services. This blog hopes to offer you a refreshing break from the intensity of your service – “Think of reading this blog as a refreshing “glance around the room” looking for inspiration and encouragement from your colleagues who, like you, have dedicated their lives to the service of society’s most vulnerable.” May We Introduce – For Your Edification and Inspiration…
The Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps
In their own words…
Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps is a leader in child welfare and juvenile justice, operating a number of programs and services for at-risk youth and families. Our work includes community-based initiatives, residential treatment and juvenile justice programs, and we partner with national organizations and state agencies to use proven methods and develop new ways to advance practices in the care of those most vulnerable. 2020 marks our 51st. anniversary.
The RFKCAC offers a diverse range of programs and services to help children address the challenges they face as a result of living in unstable, dangerous or abusive environments. Our innovative programs fall into four categories: community-based services, educational services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment. We also participate in a number of key national partnerships to help advance our mission on a national level.
“Our students come to us having experienced incredible hardships, and our approach is accordingly trauma-informed. But we also realize that they are so much more than these traumas and view our students through the lens of their strength and ability. Sadly, misinterpretation and maladjustment have skewed their relationships and their own vision of themselves—they are not always able to see what we do. It is therefore incumbent upon us to reflect back to them what we see—capable, courageous survivors with much to offer the world.
“For our students specifically, the school environment must deliver social-emotional development, practice co-regulation and self-regulation, and teach deeply the academics and critical thinking skills necessary to become the independent adults that will solve the problems of our future world.”
The Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice
The Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice works to advance the national platform for juvenile justice system reform. We provide consultation, technical assistance, and training to serve local, state, and national leaders, practitioners and youth-serving agencies to improve system performance and outcomes for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Our focus is primarily on youth with prior or current involvement in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, known as dual status youth, the review and improvement of juvenile probation systems, and the use of a model framework to address the state and national laws and policies governing the exchange and sharing of data, information, and records for youth and families.
Colleagues – Our Best Source of Inspiration
The Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps was founded 51 years ago on the basis of the empathetic insights stated above. With an annual budget of $18 million and about 300 employees, these case workers are dedicated to serving disadvantaged youth who didn’t choose their circumstances or upbringing. They see the connection and recognize how these innocent children have been victimized. That insight alone is an inspiration to all of us.