This week’s Friday Forward from Celeste provides CHA staff members with a perspective on the real needs of the kids we serve – and what that means.

An interesting thing happens when kids act out – they tend to learn whether their needs will be met or not. When they behave in a certain way, there’s a reason – an underlying cause. And when we don’t learn what that cause is, the actions or behaviors continue until their need is met.

Earlier this week, I read an article that echoed this concept as it made a connection between children in foster care and the risk they have of being trafficked. What struck me about this risk was the cause the author pointed to: it was a child’s search for connection that puts this vulnerable population at risk. The connection they are searching for is a misdirected sense of security, a sense of belonging.

Then I thought about the kids in our programs. Many of them tend to struggle with inappropriate behaviors. And there’s a reason. They’ve been through a lot, most of them have experienced trauma, and frankly, they have many unmet physical and emotional needs. Basically, they are searching for connections and relationships that will provide safety, security, and support.

And I felt relieved because you’ve got this – YOU are the missing piece. You provide that safety, security, and support each day by ensuring the well-being of our kids and seeing clearly who they are and what they bring to the world – the strengths they have and can build on. Even when those strengths are covered up by words and actions that seem to say, “stay away from me.” You work to see clearly, to uncover the underlying need, and to help our kids find hope, health, and healing.

Thank you!

Here’s a link to the article Celeste refers to if you’d like to read it:

https://medium.com/@drjohndegarmo/how-children-in-foster-care-fall-victim-to-child-sex-trafficking-6d5619ade67f