Beech Brook Board Holds 156th Annual Meeting

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					                beech leaves
WINTER 2009




                  Beech Brook Board Holds
                  156th Annual Meeting
                  By Colleen Fritz
                                                                                                                     What’s Inside
                  The 156th Annual Meeting of the Beech             It was only fitting that the award was given
                  Brook Board of Directors was held Sept. 25        to McCafferty, who has dedicated his life        Message from
                  in Fenn-Wright Center.                            to helping children and families. He began       the Executive Office         2
                                                                    his career at CCDCFS as a social worker
                  At the meeting, the Suzanne Brookhart             and rose to the top through his hard             Parent Advocate Goes
                  Harrison Award for Exceptional Service to         work, professional skills and unfaltering        to Any Length to Help
                  Children was given to Cuyahoga County             commitment to children and families.             Families Reunite             4
                  Administrator James McCafferty, who               He recently left CCDCFS after 28 years to
                  spent many years working on behalf of             become the county administrator.                 Male Role Model Makes
                  kids as the former executive director of                                                           a Huge Difference in a
                  the Cuyahoga County Department of                 “Jim has always been committed to                Teen’s Life            5
                  Children and Family Services (CCDCFS).            permanency for children, and no one
                  This award was established in 1979 in honor       has worked more diligently to make the           Autism From the
                  of Sue Harrison, who once again was in            promise of a home and family come true for       Inside Out                   6
                  attendance — marking 60 years of devotion         thousands of Cuyahoga County children,”
                  to Beech Brook as a member of the Board of        Rex said. “Under Jim’s leadership, we saw        Ducks, Roaches and
                  Directors.                                        the number of children in custody drop           Other Assorted Wildlife
                                                                    from more than 6,000 to about 2,000.             or “Why I Love My
                  “Sue not only holds a special place in our                                                         Crazy Job”              8
                  hearts,” Debra Rex said, “but a special place     “Everyone who has worked with Jim knows
                  in our history. It is safe to say that no one     that he will always advocate for whatever        Donations                  10
                  else in Beech Brook’s 156-year history has        is in the best interests of children and
                  come close to matching the commitment,            families, and when he takes a stand or
                  loyalty and support she has given and             speaks on their behalf —
                  continues to give in support of Beech             whether it is to his own staff,
                  Brook’s mission, and I am sure her record         to other professionals, to
                  will stand for many years to come – perhaps       lawmakers or reporters
                  for all time.”


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                                                                  Suzanne Harrison, Debra Rex and James McCafferty               Continued on page 3

                                                       Bringing hope to children and families since 1852
    Board of Directors
    Cindy P. Crotty
    Chair

    Nancy Klein & G. Walter Stuelpe, Jr.
    Vice Co-chairs Administration
                                           Message from
    Barbara Nagy & Kathy C. Pender
                                           the Executive Office
    Vice Co-chairs Development
                                                                                              need for our services has never been greater,
    Edward A. Zak                                                                             with families already on the edge struggling
    Vice Chair Finance/Treasurer                                                              even more just to survive. We will continue
                                                                                              to work harder and smarter to get the job
    Jeffrey W. Bennett                                                                        done, because we know all too well that
    Gregory L. Brown                                                                          these children and families simply can’t sit
    Bari E. Goggins                                                                           and wait for better days.
    Harry L. Holmes
    Judy Iantosca                                                                         Despite the bleak external picture, inside
                                           Debra Rex, M.A., M.Ed.   Mario Tonti, D.S.W.
    Carol S. Markey                                                                       the walls of Beech Brook there is light, and
    Steven M. Mauro                                                                       there is hope. With strong leadership and
    Jane Q. Outcalt                        ’Tis the season — the season for thanks, the an agency-wide commitment to fiscal
    Thomas M. Seger                        season for reflection and the season for hope. responsibility, Beech Brook is doing better
    Thomas A. Seifert                                                                     year-to-date than planned. We will
    Joyce Shaw                             We are thankful for the many generations       continue to fiercely safeguard our assets
    Mark I. Singer                         of friends and community leaders who built and use our resources wisely to weather the
                                           a solid foundation for Beech Brook and         difficult days ahead, just as we have for
    Life Directors                         maintained a powerful commitment to its        more than a century and a half. We will
    Pierce Bray*                           mission for the last 156 years. We are also    also continue to rise to the challenges with
    Suzanne Brookhart Harrison             thankful to you, our donors, who make it       a great sense of hopefulness, because we
    Norman S. Jeavons, Esq.                possible for Beech Brook to set the standard know that the quality, consistency and high
    Patricia Calkins Lightbody             for high quality programs and services.        values that Beech Brook is known for
    * Deceased                             Because of you, we were able to touch the      throughout the community will not waver.
                                           lives of more than 21,000 children, youth
    Honorary Directors                     and families last year — finding them          Just as one of our children in Residential
    Stephen J. Alfred                      permanent homes, healing their emotional Treatment wrote in a poem that you will
    Raymond J. Balester
                                           wounds, and helping them overcome              read in this newsletter, Beech Brook “never
    Malcolm M. Cutting
                                           overwhelming challenges.                       gives up on their clients,” we believe our
    C. Henry Foltz
                                                                                          community will never give up on Beech
    Anthony R. Michel
    Sally S. Morley                        As we reflect on the past year, however, it’s  Brook. We ask that you keep these children
    Marguerite P. Sherwin                  hard not to get bogged down by the negative. and families in your thoughts as you
    Gretchen D. Smith                      Economic recession, job losses, corporate      celebrate the season with your own
                                           meltdowns — there seems to be no light on families. We thank you for your past
    Leadership Advisory Council            the horizon. But even though the external      support and ask for your continued
    Kelly Banks                            environment has become increasingly dire, generosity as we begin another year of
    David A. Ellis                         internally Beech Brook is stronger and         fulfilling our critical mission of helping
    Eric D. Fingerhut                      more focused than ever. We know that the       kids and families.
    Oliver C. Henkel, Jr.
    Pierre Jambon
    Jim Mason                              Nancy Kortemeyer                               Colleen Fritz
    H. Gene Nau                            Assistant Vice President of                    Editor, Public Relations
                                           Marketing and Public Relations                 Coordinator
    James R. Pender
    David Reines
    Arthur W. Treuhaft                     Beech Brook Campus                Family Drop-In Center          Lorain County Site
                                           3737 Lander Road                  Carl B. Stokes Social          Midway Plaza
    Chief Executive Officer                Pepper Pike, Ohio 44124           Service Mall                   347 Midway Boulevard
    Debra Rex, M.A., M.Ed.
                                           Weizer Building                   6001 Woodland Avenue           Suite 301
    President                              11801 Buckeye Road                Cleveland, Ohio 44104          Elyria, Ohio 44035
    Mario Tonti, D.S.W.                    Cleveland, Ohio 44120



2                                                                                                               www.beechbrook.org
Beech Brook Board Holds 156th Annual Meeting
(continued from cover)
                                                                      Thoughts About Beech Brook
                                                                      By Kennith
— he is a trusted source whose knowledge and experience give
credibility to his passion.”                                          Beech Brook has helped me change tremendously good. I used
                                                                      to be very aggressive and didn’t care about anything. I have a
Bringing a face and a name to all of the great work Beech Brook       wonderful therapist named Ms. H. She’s the angel that helped me
has achieved over the past year, 13-year-old Kennith read one of      see the light.
his poems at the meeting. Accompanied by his therapist, Jean
Homrighausen, Kennith shared what Beech Brook has done for         Beech Brook is a wonderful place to get help. The therapists here
him to help him overcome his challenges and prepare for his future are very strong and hard to give up on their client. To me, Beech
beyond Residential Treatment. His touching words reached into      Brook is a magnificent opportunity to make a change.
the hearts of guests, leaving barely a dry eye in the room.
                                                                      Beech Brook showed me the real and true me.
Amy Swanson, executive director of Voices for Ohio’s Children,        It showed me that I am somebody.
served as the evening’s keynote speaker. As the head of Ohio’s        It showed me that I can change.
                                                                      It showed me I can make it.
                                                                      It showed me that I don’t have to be ashamed of my problems.
                                                                      It showed me the strength to not give up.
                                                                      It showed me the long journey to success.
                                                                      It showed me I don’t need to be afraid of the people
                                                                        who destroyed my self-esteem.
                                                                      It showed me the way to do my best.
                                                                      It showed me the power of my heart.
                                                                      It showed me the victory road.
                                                                      It showed me my potential.
                                                                      It showed me my success points.
                                                                      It showed me how to overcome my problems.
                                                                      It showed me the almighty power of fighting my depression.
                                                                      It showed me I could help others.
                                                                      It showed me my gifts sent by God.
                                                                      It showed me my life.
                                                                      It showed me that it’s all right now.
                                                                      It showed me I could have friends.
                                                                      It showed me the non-deceiving light.
                                                                      It showed me I’m a survivor.
                                                                      It showed me people do care about me.
                                                                      It showed me how to be very aware.
                                                                      It showed me future skills to get along.
                                                                      It showed me how to encourage myself and others.
                                                                      It showed me how I can be what I want to be.
Amy Swanson                                                           It showed me how to not give up.
                                                                      It showed me I am determined to do new things.
leading advocacy organization for children, Swanson works in          Beech Brook is my turnaround place.
partnership with child advocates throughout the state to advance      This is what helped me become successful and keep learning.
Voices’ legislative and advocacy agendas with the Ohio General
Assembly, with appointed and elected officials, and with Ohio’s
Congressional delegation. She works closely with many of the
100+ partner members of Voices, crafting testimony, legislative
briefings and updates for legislators and aides, as well as serving
in leadership positions on many local and statewide committees
dedicated to children.

The Annual Meeting was adjourned by incoming Board Chair
Cindy Crotty.




                                                                      Jean Homrighausen and Kennith

216.831.2255                                                                                                                            3
Parent Advocate Goes to Any Length
to Help Families Reunite
Doreen Britt’s life experience helps her connect with clients.
By Colleen Fritz

Parent Advocate Doreen Britt looks back on her darkest hour,                “We’re walking resources. We know everything that’s out there for
when her children were taken into county custody, and instantly             families.”
remembers the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness she had.
                                                                            She was careful to point out, however, that the parent advocates
She recalls how she desperately tried to hide from social workers           don’t enable their clients. “We empower them.”
the fact that she had no food in the house by putting empty cans
from nearby dumpsters in her cupboards — wrapping bricks to                 Making herself available 24/7, Britt said she helps her families get
look like frozen meat. She even put blankets on top of milk crates          what they need to get back on track — food, housing, employment,
to pass for children’s beds.                                                clothing, furniture, help with utilities, referrals for other services,
                                                                            transportation — the list goes on. She has even gotten an alarm
But 26 years of drug abuse eventually caught up with her, and               clock and set up a medication schedule for one of the mothers.
despite her efforts to keep her kids, 5 and 6, they were removed
and put into foster care.                                                   “They don’t know where to start,” Britt said of her clients. They’re
                                                                            overwhelmed. We open up hope.”
“I paid a high price for a low life,” Britt said. “I lost my car, my job,
my kids — but the worst thing I lost was me.”                               One of her most challenging cases, she recalled, was a homeless
                                                                            62-year-old father and his teenage daughter. The mother was
Britt had hit the extreme bottom of all rock bottoms. That’s what it        terminally ill in a nursing home, and the father and daughter had
took, however, for her to turn her life around.                             literally been living in the streets for quite some time. By getting
                                                                            the family the right services and support, however, Britt helped get
That was 12 years ago, which may as well be another lifetime ago.           them out of what would seem like an impossible situation. Today,
Today, Britt is clean and a senior member of the Parents Helping            the father is working, the daughter is in school, and they have a home.
Parents (PHP) staff at Beech Brook. As for her children mentioned
above — one recently graduated from high school and the other is            She said she frequently sees other former clients when she’s out
in college.                                                                 and about, and they tell her how well they’re doing — a testament
                                                                            to the program’s long-term success.
Working with families who have had their children removed, Britt
and the other parent advocates have something in common with                “When I was using, I went to any length to get
their clients that no one else involved in the cases have — the sense       what I needed,” Britt said. “Today, I go to that
of “been there, done that.” It’s what allows Britt to connect with          same length for my families.”
her clients in a way no one else can. She has walked in their shoes.
She has felt their despair. She understands their pain.                     She added, “This is my calling. It’s not work.
                                                                            It’s what I do.”
“Most of the other people involved in a case deal with what’s on
the surface,” Britt said. “We go within.”

Britt’s ability to fully understand where her clients are coming
from, as well as her clients’ ability to see her as someone who was
once in their situation, helps her to establish trust. It is only then
that she can dig a little deeper and get to the heart of their issues
and challenges.                                                                                    Doreen Britt

Her goal is to help parents get stabilized, work through their case
plan and ultimately get their children returned. Over the years,
Britt said she’s helped reunite at least 60 families.




4                                                                                                                      www.beechbrook.org
Male Role Model Makes a
Huge Difference in a Teen’s Life
By Colleen Fritz


When Charles Daniels, a mentor in Beech Brook’s STRIDE
program, first met 14-year-old Robert last spring, he was having
some problems in Juvenile Court.

“We helped him work through his situation,” Daniels said. “He
was innocent, and the judge let him off probation.”

But Robert’s problems didn’t end there. “He had no male figure in
his life — no one to look up to,” Daniels said.

Loneliness was a major issue for Robert. Although he comes from
a large family (14 children!), he is the youngest, and most of his
siblings don’t live at home anymore. His mother was recovering
from some health problems, so he didn’t have anyone to spend
much time with him. It seemed as if he didn’t have a friend in
the world.

The shy teen was also struggling at school, particularly in reading.
Low-self esteem and lack of male guidance were really taking a toll
on his potential. Clearly, the youth needed a mentor to help get
him on track.

“When we first got together,” Daniels said, “Robert kept his head
down and had a blank look on his face. No smile.”
                                                                             Charles Daniels and Robert
The two had lunch, and Daniels did his best to break down the
barrier Robert had built around himself. Eventually, Daniels                 Robert’s mother told Daniels that it’s like having a whole new
cracked a joke that brought a smile to Robert’s face, and a                  person in the house, and that he has empowered them to make
relationship of trust grew from that moment.                                 improvements as a family as well.

“I told him if there was anything he wanted to talk about, he could          Finally having a special person to do simple things with has had
talk with me. I said, ‘You have somebody you can trust now. Call             an amazing impact on Robert. Daniels said one of Robert’s favorite
me right away — don’t let stuff get to you and worry.’ ” Daniels             things to do is go for a ride and just talk. Having that one-on-one
said.                                                                        male bonding time has made a huge difference in his life.

Once Robert understood that Daniels was coming to him as a                   “We get a couple cans of soda and a bag of chips, drive around,
friend, and they were on an equal playing field, he started to open          listen to the radio and talk. That’s what he likes to do best,”
up. Slowly, Daniels encouraged Robert to come out of his shell. He           Daniels said.
linked him to a church group, in which his participation has
flourished. He also helped Robert with his personal appearance to            “We’re a team now — and Robert has been smiling ever since.”
increase his self-esteem, in turn, positively impacting his social skills.

The pair gets together a couple time a week, spending at least 45
minutes of each visit reading books to improve Robert’s school
work. “We take it one word at a time,” Daniels said. “We’ll get
there. He’s a good kid.”




216.831.2255                                                                                                                                   5
Autism From the Inside Out
Sean Barron is nationally recognized for his writing about his experience with autism and over-
coming the problems it created in his life. He has co-authored the following two books: There is
a Boy in Here (co-authored with his mother) and The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships
(co-authored with Temple Grandin).
By Colleen Fritz

                                       Sean Barron, a nationally       “I was a very sensitive child — I had frequent meltdowns,” Barron
                                       recognized speaker and          said. “But unlike other children, my parents couldn’t pick me up
                                       writer, shared his personal     and comfort me. I didn’t like the feeling of being held. I literally
                                       experience with overcoming      felt like I was being smothered.”
                                       autism as a child and young
                                       adult at a workshop Oct. 7      Other sensory issues Barron had included problems with texture.
                                       in Beech Brook’s Fenn-          “I didn’t like different textures in my mouth at the same time.” he
                                       Wright Center.                  explained. “I took all my food apart and ate everything separately.
                                                                       Water was OK, but I couldn’t have ice, because it changed the
                                       He provided a fascinating       texture.”
                                       perspective on what it was
                                       like to live in a different     Barron also had speech and language delays, mostly pointing and
                                       world inside his head,          grunting to communicate. He didn’t use words until he was 4
                                       describing himself as once      years old, and even then his speech was choppy and haphazard. “I
                                       “being trapped in [his] own     could hear what I wanted to say in my head, but I couldn’t get the
                                       autism.”                        words out.”
Sean Barron
In the early 1970s, Barron received services through Beech             Although he never received any speech therapy, Barron’s
Brook’s Residential Treatment program and lived in Severance           language problems eventually “smoothed out” on their own. His
Cottage. Although staff did everything they could to help him,         conversations, however, centered on his fixations such as state
Barron said at that time they didn’t really have the resources he      capitols, letters and license plates. “I would ask people the same
needed.                                                                questions over and over,” Barron said. “I fended off my anxiety by
                                                                       constantly getting the same answers, validating that everything
“Beech Brook planted a seed,” Barron said, however. “It made me        was the same, predictable. I had a high need for sameness.”
realize my behavior had consequences and that it affected others.
Not that I didn’t care — I just never knew. Beech Brook helped         The ability to think abstractly was another struggle for Barron. He
that sink in.”                                                         couldn’t understand the implications of his behavior. His thoughts
                                                                       were very black and white, literal, concrete. There was no gray
Barron was officially identified as having autism at age 3, which      area. “I couldn’t take what I learned from one situation and take
was a very rare diagnosis in the early 1960s and usually meant         it to another,” Barron said. This became a huge concern for his
eventually being institutionalized. But he said his mother knew        parents, because he couldn’t grasp the concept that some of his
there was something different about him soon after he was born.        behaviors were dangerous. For example, he didn’t understand that
                                                                       running into the street could cause him to be hit by a car.
“I didn’t cry normally,” Barron explained. I didn’t respond
normally to my parents. I didn’t make eye contact — I stared right     Barron was extremely physically active and had a unusually high
through them. I was in my own world.”                                  tolerance for pain (almost oblivious), so his parents had to keep
                                                                       an eye on him at all times to ensure his safety. Determined to get
When he became a little older, the only emotions he can                him the appropriate help, Barron’s parents took him to several
remember feeling were extreme fear and anxiety. In his mind,           doctors and therapists throughout his childhood. He was put on
compartmentalizing everything and repetition made dealing with         everything from Ritalin to a regimen of more than 50 vitamins a
his fear seem a little easier.                                         day, but nothing really seemed to help. They tried everything they
                                                                       could think of, but other than supporting him in the best way they
“So I did all the stereotypical behaviors,” Barron said. “Repetitive   knew how, his parents exhausted their options.
movements, spinning tops, watching the washing machine spin —
the degree at which I was driven to constantly do these types of       In school, Barron was very socially awkward. “I didn’t have the
things to alleviate my fear was overwhelming.”                         ability to relate to other children,” he said. “I would watch the
                                                                       other kids interact — they seemed to have a natural flow. I didn’t
He also had many food aversions and was extra sensitive to touch       even have the basic understanding to say, ‘Hi Jimmy, want to play?’
and light.                                                             It was all foreign to me.”


6                                                                                                                www.beechbrook.org
                          “My teacher thought I was being defiant, but I really couldn’t
                                understand that abstract concept,” Barron said.




He also had trouble comprehending that certain behaviors were          He said something as basic as looking at his reflection in the
acceptable in some environments and not in others. At home,            mirror was tough, because his self-esteem was so low that he didn’t
he could get up whenever he wanted and move from one activity          like the person looking back. He had to force himself to make eye
to another or go to the bathroom when he needed. In school,            contact in the mirror. Gradually things like that became easier,
however, when he got up to sharpen a pencil or went to the             with each small social success feeding his desire to forge ahead.
restroom without permission, he got in trouble.
                                                                       “My parents were so determined,” Barron said. “They used up a
“My teacher thought I was being defiant, but I really couldn’t         lot of mental energy on me, but they never gave up.” They helped
understand that abstract concept,” Barron said.                        explain things to him that other kids knew instinctively — what
                                                                       his dad referred to as “knowledge holes.”
In about third grade, however, he started to do very well in school
because of the structured environment and the predictability of        “He told me that he always felt everything was there, it was just
his schedule, i.e., he knew exactly when the bell would ring. This     that the connections needed to be made.” Barron said it was a
structure brought him comfort, and he actually started having a        about a 13-year process to “come out of [his] autism.”
harder time at home where things were less routine than in school.
                                                                       “Once I improved socially, it was like I woke up the abstract
Barron and his family struggled with his autism into his teens         side of my brain,” Barron recalled. He learned to empathize and
with very little improvement. He hit a milestone, however, when        understand the cause and effect of his actions. Eventually he
his family moved from Ohio to California. There, he saw the            learned how his behavior had affected his family, which caused
movie, “Sunrise,” which was about a mother and her autistic son.       a host of other problems he had to work through, particularly
                                                                       because of a great sense of guilt.
“Today, one in 50 kids are thought to be on the autistic spectrum,”
Barron said. “But back then, we didn’t know anyone else with it.       He said his new-found awareness was “like coming out of a coma.”
The movie was a big enlightenment. It opened up the door for my
first real conversation with my mother. I remember saying to my        “Looking back, the information was getting through. … It was
mom, ‘I have autism, don’t I?’ ”                                       under the veneer of autism that began to chip away. It sat dormant,
                                                                       because there were all these things, autistic behaviors, I felt I
Despite his revelation, Barron’s teen years were very difficult. The   needed to do.”
fear and anxiety that enveloped him in his youth evolved into
depression, low self-esteem, anger and thoughts of suicide. But he     Barron said as more veneer was chipped away, his “normal self”
had finally reached a turning point: He now recognized that he         was able to come through. That was the “greatest gift I ever
had to identify things he did that were socially inappropriate and     received.”
replace them with behavior that was appropriate.
                                                                       The final step in Barron’s healing process was writing a book, co-
One thing he worked on, for example, was learning to hold back         authored with his mother, about his experience with autism from
his brutal (and frequently offensive) honesty and replace it with      his perspective. There is a Boy in Here helped Barron talk about
more diplomatic conversation.                                          autism in a “healthy light, rather than hating it so much.” He said,
                                                                       “Writing the book was like taking really bad medicine, but once
It was a slow process, but Barron was determined to get to a point     the taste was gone, I felt so much better.”
where autism no longer affected his life. He spent a lot of time
watching how other people acted socially and then did the best         Today, Barron said his life is no longer impacted by autism, but
he could to imitate them. Things that came naturally to others         admits that there’s always room for improvement, so he’s not
were very challenging for Barron. “Making eye contact was really       complacent. A journalist for an Ohio newspaper, Barron, who once
hard,” he explained. “I had to practice things like leaning in         required structure and predictability, now craves spontaneity.
toward someone and shaking hands, asking open-ended questions
to increase conversation, and learning social cues and how to          “I gravitated toward journalism, because each story and each
properly react.”                                                       assignment is different.” In fact, Barron added, “I don’t even like to
                                                                       drive the same routes, or give the same speeches.”



216.831.2255                                                                                                                               7
Ducks, Roaches and Other Assorted Wildlife or
“Why I Love My Crazy Job”
By Victoria Kesling, L.S.W., Case Manager /Therapist
Summit County Family Preservation Program


                                I came home tonight after a dinner         pudgy, middle aged woman in less than spry shape, and even
                                 out, where my husband and I               I have to laugh at the mental image of me chasing a domestic
                                   met a casual friend by chance           duckling through a house while the family is all squealing and
                                    and got into some interesting          running away from it. …And explaining to my husband the
                                     conversation over dinner. I           reason for my very brief trip home between appointments to wash
                                      am often asked what I do for         the duck poop out of my britches. Or the warm fuzzy story about
                                      a living, and I don’t think I        finding a certified wildlife specialist to nurse and raise a 3-day-
                                      give the same answer twice. Of       old squirrel so an 11-year-old, who couldn’t bear one more loss,
                                                    course I really        could have a picture of him and the assurance he would keep the
                                                        never do the       name she gave him, Jericho, until he is released into the wild in the
                                                           same thing      spring.
                                                              twice.
                                                                My first   But the thing I love most about my job is really summed up best in
                                                                answer     another story of wildlife that (I occasionally forget) tends to give
                                                              is           people the heebie-jeebies. What I love about my job is the day I got
                                          generally that I work with       to sit in an apartment and shake cockroaches out of clothes….
                                    children involved in the abuse/
                                 neglect system, and their families        Now, let me explain: I was working with this young single mom
                             in some shape or form. Occasionally           who managed to keep an immaculate home while going to
                         I will note that I provide intensive home-        school full time and working to support herself and her troubled
                    based mental health and family intervention            daughter. She was extremely self-sufficient and was quite resistant
              services or some other jargon. If you are in the             to having someone in her home telling her how to raise her child.
field that means something…maybe. But generally it gets a blank            She was honest and direct and tolerated me, but from a distance.
stare or a “how nice.” When asked, I usually say it’s crazy and            Then shortly before she was going to move to a new place, someone
exhausting, and I love it. The on call 24/7 thing usually has people       moved in upstairs bringing a serious infestation of roaches. She
wondering how I stay sane…but as I tell them more, they usually            was embarrassed when I arrived and there were obvious barriers
see that I’m only marginally sane at best.                                 of boric acid everywhere, and every thing was bagged and ready to
                                                                           wash and move to a new home. She had never had roaches before.
Every once in a while someone will ask what types of things I see.         We talked for a bit and she was near tears (not typical for this
My answer is that some times I see things that hurt my heart and           tough gal.) She said she had taken care of most of it but she knew
horrify me, but what amazes me more is that I see these incredible,        there were a bunch of wadded clothes in her daughters closet and
resilient, strong people who are surviving in situations most folks        she just couldn’t face opening the door and taking care of it.
can’t imagine. I’ve also learned NOT to say a few things, like: “I’ve
seen it all,” “Nothing surprises me.” And, “I know how the court           She did a double take and stammered a bit when I asked her if
hearing will go.” Those things just beg to be proven wrong.                she wanted me to help. She said, “Well, you don’t have to…well if
                                                                           ...I mean…doesn’t it gross you out? ” I just said, “I grew up in the
I have lots of tales from time in the trenches, some that break a          country, and as my mom used to say, I’m bigger than them…not a
heart, some that stir up incredible anger, some genuinely warm             problem.”
fuzzy type moments and ultimately, there is humor. I’m a short,




8                                                                                                                    www.beechbrook.org
I left my bag outside and rolled up my sleeves and sat there and we
shook roaches out of clothes for a good 20 minutes. Then I helped
bag them up and take them down to the laundry in the basement.                         And I love that if I need to
As we did this, we talked about the issues we were there to work
on, but what I was doing, was better than any therapeutic tool in                        chase away roaches,
my Family Preservation bag of tricks. Mom did let a tear fall, and
gave me a big hug, and I could tell she would be OK to deal with                           I can do that too.
the rest of the day.

The most effective way to improve this woman’s day, increase
her ability to trust, and teach her that she can ask for and accept       I haven’t figured out how to manage my time as well as I would
help and not feel any the less for it, was done without therapeutic       like. I hate paperwork and tend to be a bit behind. And there are
interventions, treatment of symptoms or psycho-educational                days where the 24/7 thing feels like an albatross. But I love the fact
curricula. Not that I don’t use and appreciate those things, I do —       that I can do diagnostic assessments and use my clinical training
but what I really love about my job is that I can go meet someone         and experience to treat trauma and mental health needs, then
where they are and roll up my sleeves alongside them and just             teach parenting and behavior management, hook people up with
say, “What do you need?” (actually, I really hate roaches, but who        community services of all types, and even get to go to court now
doesn’t?)                                                                 and then.

I help train child advocates and talk about home visits and was           I love that no two weeks, or days, or appointments are the same.
telling one class some handy tricks for avoiding head lice, or            I love that I found a place where clinical skills meet good old-
pinkeye or a myriad of other things “nice people” don’t get. I was        fashioned social work. And I love that if I need to chase away
asked how I could let a kid with lice hug me or climb on my lap. I        roaches, I can do that too.
got some heebie-jeebie-type looks when I told them about a four-
hour visit in a terribly unsanitary home with six little ones and no      Really, a pretty good gig all in all.
running water, when I was peed on, pooped on, puked on, exposed
to pinkeye, head lice and impetigo all in one day; and then I went
home and stripped in the garage.

I am not always quick with answers to questions, but came up with
a pretty good answer that day to explain how I could do that and
still love my job. You can get rid of bugs; you can kill germs; and
dirt washes off. But the heart and spirit of a child isn’t near so easy
to fix. In other words, if a kid needs a hug, he needs a hug.




216.831.2255                                                                                                                                   9
Thank you Our heartfelt thanks to these Beech Brook supporters for their commitment
to children and families. Each donation is important and appreciated. The following gifts were
received between July 1 and October 31, 2008.
$10,000 or more                   $500 to $999                      Leslie Blakemore                  Brahmaiah Tandra
Anonymous                         Britton-Gallagher & Associates,   Dawn Brodnick                     Jean Taraba
The Hankins Foundation             Incorporated                     Janalee Brown                     Teresa T. Thompson-Davis
The Lerner Family Foundation      Alvah Stone and Adele Corning     Roseann D’Agati                   Patricia Varanese and John C.
Elizabeth and Herbert McBride      Chisholm Memorial Foundation     Valerie L. Dowery-Houi             Cavasinni
The Margaret Clark Morgan         Robert Ford                       Kathleen Durkin                   Elizabeth Wilkes
 Foundation                       Jean Homrighausen                 Cybele Elloian                    Grady Williams
Reuter Foundation                 KeyBank                           Emily E. Ford                     Melissa Winfield
Ridgecliff Foundation             Ellen Kilmartin                   Morton Frankel                    James Wolen
Dave Thomas Foundation for        Nancy Kortemeyer                  Colleen and Dan Fritz             Donna Zink
 Adoption                         David & Inez Myers Foundation     Sabrina Hammond
The C. Carlisle & M. Tippit       Oreck Homecare, LLC               Michelle Harris                   $99 and Under
 Charitable Trust                 Parker Hannifin Foundation        Amy Herr                          Nicole Ackerman
United Way of Greater Cleveland   Jeffery and Nancy Rosenbaum       Gina Huffman                      Ciani Albert
                                  Jean Solomon and Charles          Richard Rule Huffman              Edgardo Aro
$5,000 to $9,999                   Swanson                          David and Laura Hussey            Michelle Bagaglia
Roy A. Hunt Foundation            Catherine T. Sutula               Cheryl and James Jamison          Bank of America
The Michael Pender Memorial       University School                 Deborah Joyce                     Shkerah Bell
 Fund of The Cleveland                                              Kimberly and Steve Karl           Elisabeth Bohlander
 Foundation                       $250 to $499                      David and Carole Kass             Hilda Bowman
                                  Anonymous                         Victoria Kesling                  Debra Brown
$2,500 to $4,999                  Paula Atwood                      Marcia Konopinski                 Jennifer Bruehler
John and Patricia Chapman         Lynn Avery                        Lander Circle Kiwanis             The Rev. and Mrs. Richard Bucey
William and Mary Conway           Joyce Dickson                     Beth Manchick                     Brenda Burston
Thomas and Janice Eppright        David DiTullio and Kate M.        Alberta Manzi                     Bettyann Carmosino
The Lubrizol Foundation            Pilacky                          Brian and Sandy McCann            Rosemary Chester
Debra Rex and George George       Julie Goch                        Jeff Miller                       Tabatha Clemmons
Dudley and Barbara Sheffler       Julia Noveske                     Tanya Morrow                      Matthew Corbett
Mario and Roberta Tonti           James and Sandra Schneider        Robert Phillips-Plona             Andrew and Rosemary Costanzo
                                  Helen Vafaie                      Kay Porter                        Deanna Cowan
$1,000 to $2,499                  Christine Winsberg                Melanie Prepetit                  Racine Crawford
Kathryn and Chris Biddle                                            Nicole Roettger                   Ann Cristian
Thomas Brugger and Sandra Russ    $100 to $249                      Tom and Nancy Royer               Charles Daniels
G. Michael and Jill Burke         Academy Graphic                   Renay Sanders and David Calaway   Katrina Daugherty
Mark and Cheryl Groner             Communications                   Linda Schettler                   Jennifer Davis
Gould, Incorporated Foundation    Janet Asche                       Joseph and Nancy Schmitz          Amanda DeLauder
The Helen F. Stolier and Louise   Sylvia Beckerman                  Ruthie Seals                      Herbert and Kathryn Dent
 Stolier Family Foundation        LaVisa Bell                       Elaine Skirvin                    Lisa Dietzel
                                  Joan Blackburn                    LaQuetta Solomon                  Alethia Douthard




10                                                                                                          www.beechbrook.org
Hester Duncan                      Jennifer Stimac              Honor and Memorial Gifts
Carla Duren                        Diane Stiner-Cranfield       In Honor of Mayor and
Carol Emmons                       Robin Taliaferro              Mrs. Bruce Akers
Brenda Frazier                     Pam Taylor                   Harold and Eleanor Lewis
Richard and Joan Frye              Jordan and Karin Truthan
                                                                In Honor of Travis and Amy Hafner
Linda Garens                       Carrie Tulino
                                                                Robert and Cynthia Goldberg
Leo and Christine George           Brando Tupaz
Robert and Cynthia Goldberg        David and Adele Vogt         In Memory of Robert Yonkers
Lashawnda Golphin                  Andrea Ware                  Hebert and Kathryn Dent
Joyce Gray                         Eddie Ware                   Richard and Joan Frye
Gund School                        Shirley Wenson               Gund School
Everett Gund                       Heather Whitacre             Arnold Miller
Tonilynn Hallom                    Allen and Lisa Wiant         Norton and Jackie Rose
Diane Hansen                       Alisa Wiggins                David and Adele Vogt
Carol Hoffstetter                  Laura Wright
Poncey Jones
Vanessa Jordan                     GIFT IN-KIND DONATIONS
Cindy Kaufman                      Agilysys, Incorporated
Karen Kropinak                     Elliot and Marilyn Bergman
Virginia Lester                    Kathryn and Chris Biddle
Ann Levy                           Ray and Ruthie Butler
Harold and Eleanor Lewis           Elena Casper
Daniel and Maura Lipinski          Cleveland Browns
Nancy Martin                       Cleveland Indians
Steven and Lucinda Mauro           Alisann Crough

                                                                    Recent Grants Support
Henry Mazur                        Ira and Laurie Davis
Suzy Mazur                         Laura Ditommaso


                                                                    Much-Needed Programs
Sara McClain                       Shermaine Edwards
Kathleen McHale                    Family Foundation of Ohio
Tracey McKiernan                   Ian and Hillary Friedman
Stephanie Mendel                   Pramod Jogdale                   Beech Brook would like to recognize and
Arnold Miller                      Kate & Bud’s Closet
                                                                    thank the following foundations for their
Adele Neshkin                      Laura Kulber
Karen Noisette                     Karen Levin
                                                                    generous support:
Maureen Oakes                      Sharon Owens                     Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation
Colleen O’Malley                   Minda Rudnick                    $25,000 for the Family Drop In Center
Beverly Osborne                    Jane Russell
Joe Pearson                        Staples                          Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation
                                                                    $30,000 for the ACT Team
Progressive Insurance Foundation   Valerie Wauschek
Diane Pruchinsky                   Marian Weaver
                                                                    Reuter Foundation
Norton and Jackie Rose             Strom Wilson                     $20,000 for the Drop In Center for Excellence
Roberta Schnell                    Mary Witczak                     in the Treatment of Trauma Spectrum Disorders
Elizabeth Schneps
Donalvyn Smith




216.831.2255                                                                                                        11
                                                       BEECH BROOK’S MISSION To advance the emotional well-being and self-sufficiency
                                                       of children, youth and families by providing effective, innovative, behavioral health,
                                                       permanency, educational and related services, and by serving as a strong voice for
                                                       children, youth and families.




Pronkta Claus Holds Annual Toy Drive
                                        Cleveland Indians
                                        Designated Hitter Travis
                                        Hafner and his wife, Amy,
                                        held the annual toy drive
                                        for Beech Brook on Dec. 11,
                                        trading autographs for toy
                                        donations. A long line of
                                        fans filled the main
                                        corridor of the Southpark
                                        Mall in Strongsville — all
                                        waiting patiently for their
                                        chance to meet “Pronkta
Claus,” as he is known at Beech Brook. Joining the Hafners this
year were Indians Pitcher Aaron Laffey and his wife, Jackie. Special
thanks to Cleveland Indians for their support and to Progressive
Insurance, which provided volunteers for the event.


                                                                                  Left to Right, front: Travis Hafner and Aaron Laffey.
                                                                                  Middle: Nancy Kortemeyer, Amy Hafner, Melissa Winfield, Jackie Laffey
                                                                                  and Colleen Fritz. Back: Everett Gunn and Grady Williams.




    BeeCH BrooK CaMPuS 3737 LanDer roaD, CLeVeLanD, oH 44124

    Bringing hope to children and families since 1852

    change serVice reQUested




    www.beechbrook.org
    Beech Brook is a contract agency of the cuyahoga county community mental health Board.

				
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