Guest post by DCF Director of Digital Media and Outreach Niki Pocock. This blog series will follow her first trip to DCF’s Child Protection Summit.
A news clip comes in about a baby that was shaken – I cry. I hear about a foster child who has found a forever family to call their own – I cry. I see a photo of a brightly colored mural on the walls of the room where human trafficking victims are given help – I cry.
At Summit the goal is to inspire and educate, which means lots of stories. And so … all day I have cried. The stories are uplifting, but still derived from sadness:
A foster child throws his arms around his foster mother’s neck, calling her “mom” as he gives her a huge hug.
A foster parent is recognized for showing great support for a child’s birth mother, even supplying the mother’s breast milk for the child.
A mother’s child died from medical complications. DCF helps her emotionally so she can continue to take care of her surviving child, a little boy. Her thanks towards DCF is overwhelming and humbling.
A case manager travels hours to visit all the children she helps, knowing that she is the one constant in many of their lives.
A father falls under intense financial and life stress and begins taking his frustrations out on his family. He cries as he thanks DCF for helping him get back on his feet and get mental health care. He is now a successful husband and father.
These are just a few of the many stories that made me tear up today. They are the stories that keep DCF staff in the field. Stay tuned – more blog posts (and awesome videos) to come! And be sure to follow #DCFSummit on Twitter for up-to-the-second updates.