TRUTH is, at those first meetings, our clients don’t naturally welcome our presence. Or maybe more accurately, they don’t want us around. As a Child Protection Specialist Centre (CPSC), our presence does indicate that there are concerns about child abuse, hence, our intervention. Who can blame them, when it’s hardly good news that bring us to their doors? Hand to heart, just how much will we welcome someone else’s intervention in our family matters?
The reality though, is that most of them have a good working relationship with our workers, and/or find it helpful to work with us.
The numbers don’t lie. Big Love manages close to 900 cases per quarter, and successfully closes 80-90% of them, which means that families have received the help they need – it could be in the form of getting much needed resources like connecting with extended family members to help with caring for children, getting financial assistance to ease situations at home, offering counselling and therapy for parents/children/families to work towards positive interactions.
Most of our families are “works in progress”, just like yours and mine
This work is not miraculous. There is a lot of hard work involved, from fathers attending Groupworks to better learn ways to relate to their wives and children, mothers leaning on one another for mutual support and learning new perspectives on discipline, children being showered affection and affirmation while on the road to recovery, families navigating differences, and moving forward even if that sometimes means taking three steps forward and one step back.
In the end, the “Thanks” that our workers receive come in the form of reconciled families, parents and children learning to hold one another’s hands again, trust-building, and the occasional cards, tears, or verbal ‘thank you’s. What they never show up as: Stars on our Google Review. (In fact, if you do a quick Google, as I’m sure you are now , you’ll see we sometimes get… a star, or two, from angry clients. We understand. We really do. It’s not easy having us in the picture.)
While it is a myth that our clients hate us, the truth is that circumstances surrounding their situation does make it difficult for them to leave reviews. Still, if we’ve worked together and you’ve experienced us positively, we do appreciate some affirmation. The stars do matter, even if it’s just to give ourselves a pat on the back for having tried to reach them for our clients.
Thank you for standing up to #ChampionChildProtection as well as to #FightAgainstChildAbuse and to show our clients how children can be loved in big ways. We hope you’ve experienced our love to you, too.