Post by Kendra Richman-Scott
Family Support Specialist for Healthy Families
I have been working with Healthy Families for the past 5 years, and I always thought that I was helping to shape and save lives, which is true, but as important as that – the families that I serve have helped to change and shape my life. Healthy Families is unique because it’s our “job” to build a positive relationship with our families and to become welcomed guests into their homes.
Playing with the children, interacting with the family unit and embracing their needs is only a small portion of the work that we do.
I respect each family where they are currently and where they want to be in the next few years, and I help them to create steps so that they can obtain their goals as a family and as an individual. When I walk into a home and am greeted with smiles and hugs or before I leave and a child says, “Mommy, can she stay the night, please?” or being the first person a mother tells when something positive happens in their lives is…. PRICELESS! It is at that moment that I realize why I drive the miles and put in the hours that I do… to help create a foundation for these families that have possibly never been given the tools to empower them or be in control of their own lives!
Some visits are filled with laughter, others spent wiping away tears and yet others are filled with teaching someone how to trust another individual for the first time in their lives. Regardless of the circumstances that I encounter, I never leave a home without helping a family focus on something positive within their lives, no matter how minor or major it may appear at the time. Sometimes the most rewarding gift is when a family realizes that just because I’m a Family Support Specialist does NOT mean I’m better than them. It means that I’ve chosen to overcome the obstacles in my life through the perseverance and the desire to make a change. Our childhood, gender, race or economic status isn’t what makes us different, it is what creates a bridge to embrace differences within each other.
Home visiting for me isn’t just the expectation of educating families, but the desire to learn something from each of the families I serve. I have learned perseverance, compassion and gratitude from the families that I serve. The families I serve have persevered through poverty, judgment and circumstance. They are compassionate about my health and well-being! As evidenced by – worrying about me driving to a visit in the snow and ice and encouraging me to take my time to be safe. They persevere through three years of home visits and welcoming someone that was once a stranger into their home.
Their gratitude when you bring donations of clothes, toys or books that they weren’t expecting and realizing it’s the first time that someone has given them something without expecting something in return.
I think the most important thing I have learned is regardless of someone’s financial status, attitude, up-bringing or life circumstances, we all want to be treated with respect, kindness and agape love. I accept each familiy where they are and desire to encourage and empower them to get where they want to be in a healthy way!
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