By Angguna Rowe, KVC Wraparound Facilitator
Historically the state of West Virginia has had youth enter foster care at a much higher rate than the national average. As a result, sometimes these youth have had to be removed from their home communities due to a lack of support and resources. As a Wraparound Facilitator, my role is to provide community-based services and supports that “wrap around” a child and their family in their home, school and community in an effort to help meet their needs. The outcomes I strive for include keeping youth in their own communities whenever safely possible, reducing a reliance on foster care and congregate care, and reducing the number of children in placements out-of-state.
In my time as a KVC Wraparound Facilitator, one case in particular has changed me on many different levels. So much so that when I run into a problem at work or in my personal life, this story acts as a reminder that results and success are not always instant, and we never know how the seeds that we plant will bloom and produce something that will help someone someday.
While serving my first client as a Wraparound Facilitator, I thought I was a total failure. My goal was to work with a child and his mother to prevent the need for out-of-home care. I was devastated when I found out this outcome wouldn’t be an option as the child had to enter a long-term treatment facility. This type of placement was the last place I and others wanted this child to be.
His mother was a young single mom with six other children in the household. There was no heat, water, and they also didn’t have transportation. While working with them, I had difficulty making connections as their living situation was very dire. I would try to secure food and other resources for them, but it was rarely enough. Due to their lack of basic needs, I felt there was very little I could do.
It became apparent that her child would be sent to a long-term care facility and the case would be closed. On my last visit, I gave the mother another copy of the wraparound plan. I told her, “When you have time, please read it. Maybe, just maybe there is something in here that will be able to help you.”
A year later I went out for lunch. By total chance, I met the mother working at the restaurant I chose to go to. She approached me and whispered,
“My son is home. I have all my children with me now. I did not just read the wraparound plan, Angguna, I did everything it said to do. It was chaos. I almost gave up, but I pushed through. I am going back to school. I’ve moved and found a better house, got a job and a new car. I will see you in 4-5 years because I will need you to help me get a job with KVC. I am majoring in psychology.”
It took time for me to realize that success is not always instant. From now on, I no longer get caught up worrying about when the seeds of inspiration and hope may take root in the families I serve.
At KVC, you’ll enjoy an inspiring work culture of innovation and excellence. We offer great health benefits, a flexible work schedule, generous PTO, company-matched retirement and much more! Would you or someone you know like to help children and families in need? We’re hiring throughout the state! Visit our Careers Page to learn about our current open positions!