Notes From the Children’s Summit

Gary WolskyBy Gary Wolsky, President/CEO
The Village Family Service Center
We recently held a Village Children’s Summit in an effort to review the services we provide to children and families, and to ensure we remain on the cutting-edge of current family treatment methods. We gathered all Village staff who either work directly with families, or provide supervision to those who do, and devoted an entire day to the discussion.
I called the Summit in response to what I’ve been hearing from staff about the changing nature of the issues faced by the children we treat. The number of children with multiple diagnoses has increased dramatically, and the needs of families have changed considerably since I worked directly with them as a counselor. Our profession, like any, is constantly changing, and we are committed to staying nimble and not getting stuck in the way we do things.
I was immensely impressed with the scope of experience represented in the room, the level of licensure, and the stunning and dedicated commitment evidenced by all of those present. As my responsibilities at The Village have evolved, I have moved further away from the world of direct service to children and families. It was wonderful to witness the creativity of this group and to see how we’re currently approaching the children and families we work with throughout North Dakota and Minnesota. I was also gratified to learn the state of Minnesota considers The Village one of its top providers when it comes to helping troubled families. They have a great deal of confidence in our capabilities and are very grateful for our partnership and our work.
One of our counselors shared a story about a very young child in a child care facility. In her mental health consultation work with the facility, the counselor noticed the baby turned away every time her mother entered the room. Because of her experience, The Village counselor was able to identify the issue and work with the mother to address this behavior. That engagement opened the door for The Village to assist the family with a number of issues.
That is just one of many stories I heard at the Summit. It is vital to share these stories amongst ourselves so we can learn from each other.
In addition to discussing our current efforts, we also identified ways we can adapt our methods as we work to address the needs of young people in our communities. It is our responsibility to stay on the leading edge of treatment modalities, so our clients get the best possible service for which they are paying. It’s the right thing to do to meet their needs, it’s the right thing to do from a business perspective, and it’s the right thing to do from the standpoint of the communities we serve.
The opinions expressed in this column are strictly those of The Village Family Service Center CEO. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization, staff, or boards of directors.

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