At KidsPeace, we are often asked what sets us apart from other organizations that provide services to children with emotional, behavioral and mental health issues. Of course we have longevity -- we have served children since 1882 -- we provide a full continuum of care, from an inpatient psychiatric hospital to residential programs, community and outpatient services and a frequently recognized foster care network that carefully matches children in need to wonderful, caring families. But there is more: the people who belong to the KidsPeace team and give their all to the children, families and communities we serve.
There have been several examples of unselfish dedication to our clients that deserve recognition:
Denise Barclay is the Customer Services Liaison for the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states. She brings the KidsPeace story to referral sources and helps implement placements. But Denise puts her heart and soul into her work and does everything she can to facilitate visits from family members to children in care in our Pennsylvania facilities. Recently, a teen in an Orefield, PA, KidsPeace Residential Program had a setback and was admitted to the Psychiatric Hospital that is right on the campus. They youth's grandmother, who is his guardian, became very alarmed about the teen's welfare and wanted desperately to come from Washington, DC, to visit him. She had no transportation or excess funds to make such a trip. Denise learned of the grandmother's problem and sprung to action. She arranged for a motel room in PA and drove the grandmother up from DC at 9:30 at night. She settled her into her room and arranged for transportation to the Hospital in the morning, and then she drove back to DC. No one asked Denise to do this; she believed it was the right thing to do, and she did it.
During the same week, Admissions Specialist Diane Kern noticed a very tired mother going through the process of admitting her child to the Psychiatric Hospital. She had ridden in an ambulance with him from Lancaster, PA, some 70 miles away, after many stressful hours in her local emergency room. Her son was in crisis, and she was doing her best to "be there" for him. Several hours later, Diane was getting ready to finish her shift when she saw the mother still sitting in the hospital waiting room. When Diane asked her if everything was alright, the mother nearly broke down in tears when she said the the person who was supposed to come pick her up had car trouble, and she had no way to get home, take a shower, check on her family and get her car to come back to KidsPeace. Without hesitation, Diane offered to drive the woman back home and gave up her personal time to drive this woman the 70 miles back to her home.
There are dedicated associates at KidsPeace, including members of the KidsPeace Crisis Response Team who mobilize and go to schools and churches where incidents have occurred that left kids with anxiety or trauma. The team has visited schools and churches after the untimely deaths of students, teachers and peers to offer crisis counseling to kids and help them deal with the tragedies that have occurred. KidsPeace understands that kids may have strong emotional responses to suicides, accidents, shootings or other losses and makes sure that our highly trained associates are available to anyone who needs to talk. Just last week, the KidsPeace Psychiatric Hospital received a direct admission from a school guidance counselor to whom our team had responded after an issue at the school. Our Foster Care and Community Programs Associates give their time and caring to foster parents and foster children, sponsoring events, interacting with the community and being there for families 24/7.
KidsPeace provides state of the art services to children, families and communities, but it is important to remember that these services are provided by dedicated, caring associates who go above and beyond to provide the best customer service to clients and their families and involve our organization in community efforts to bring peace to children everywhere.