Thanking Those Who Care for Youth
Last week recognized two very special professions in the youth services sector: Youth care workers and teachers. At Youth In Need, we have both and extend our heartfelt gratitude for all they do to care for, nurture and support the children and youth we serve.
May 6 was Thank a Youth Worker Day, an international celebration of youth workers who make a difference in the lives of young people. Youth In Need’s Residential Youth Care Workers make a difference every day, working to support and care for youth in our Emergency Shelter, Transitional Living Program (TLP) group home and Supported Apartments program.
“While youth who come to the Shelter and TLP have many different backgrounds and circumstances, many, if not most, have experienced significant trauma,” said Pat Holterman-Hommes, Youth In Need’s CEO. “Residential Youth Care Workers ensure physical and emotional safety, respect youth’s boundaries, validate their feelings, affirm their identities, and empower them to build on their strengths and skills. Their impact on young people is truly immeasurable, as they literally change lives each and every day through their caring interactions.”
Nationally recognized to honor educators for their hard work and dedication, last week’s Teacher Appreciation Week was a chance for Youth In Need to thank the teachers and family educators in our Early Learning Program. Not only do these staff have endless amounts of creativity and energy, but they connect with children and families in such purposeful and compassionate ways, fostering a love of learning along the way.
“We know that 90 percent of brain development happens by age 5, so these amazing preschool and infant-toddler teachers play an incredibly important role in the lives of the children entrusted to our care,” Holterman-Hommes said.
ELP Operations Director Promoted to Senior Director of ELP Partnerships
Vicki McCain, Youth In Need’s Director of Operations for the St. Charles County Early Learning Program (ELP), has been promoted to Senior Director of ELP Partnerships. An employee for 15 years, Vicki began her career at Youth In Need as a Teacher and has extensive experience in early childhood education. In her new role, Vicki will be responsible for overseeing Youth In Need’s childcare partner program, which partners with community-based childcare centers to provide Head Start and Early Head Start services to eligible families. She will manage a team that oversees 10 partner centers that serve more than 300 children. Congratulations, Vicki!