Wellspring is a Wealth of Great People

I have been blessed to have been working for Wellspring Family Services for the past 8 years. In that time, I have naturally seen many people come and go and lots of changes take place.

One constant that I have noticed is that it remains a great place to work. Specifically, the Weirton office is more of a tight fit community as opposed to just an office full of people who happen to work in the same building. In our office, everyone is always willing to share ideas, new skills, lend a helping hand or to support you in any manner that they can.

I was recently touched by my coworkers who decided to bring me donuts and a card to ease some test anxiety before taking my exam for the next level of licensure. This does not happen in most companies.  From dedicated therapists like myself, to knowledgeable case managers, to a supportive site director, coming to work in our office is more of a pleasure than a responsibility.

The Weirton office is a great team but to me they are more of a family.

Christine Vrtar, MSW, LGSW

Sometimes one conversation can change everything.....

Sometimes one conversation can change everything. It changes your perspective, your purpose and your outlook. I had one such event recently. The day before this moment, I had heard the story of a former outpatient client who was in desperate need. She was homeless. She was in a temporary shelter and she needed some clothing. The staff who contacted me was working to help her, but wanted to know if I knew of any clothing donations that had come in that might be appropriate. I immediately went to work to find her some items. I even went shopping myself to buy her some much-needed items, like socks. (I had been told she had been wearing the same pair of socks all week.)

I texted my co-worker that I had made some purchases and found some items for this girl. The text back knocked the wind out of my sails. “We can’t admit her. Our hands are tied.”

So what happens next? I was desperate to help her. I was angry at a system that wouldn’t. I was frustrated with those who had been complaining about the most mundane things just that morning…at myself for doing the same. I was livid at her mother.

You see, this girl recently turned 18. She recently told authorities that see had been sexually assaulted for years. Her mom’s reaction? To flee the situation, leaving her daughter alone and homeless. This young woman has one more credit to graduate high school. Now, she’s struggling to find a place to lay her head at night. She’s struggling to find clean clothes. But she doesn’t miss school. (She’s a good student.) And she doesn’t miss work. Yes. That’s right. She’s working.

So how does this happen? How can this happen? How can any mother just walk away? How can a system fail this young lady who’s trying so hard to do the right thing?

The good news…she has Crittenton and our caring staff, which refuses to give up on her. We’ve connected her to other resources in the community. She now has a temporary home. In the meantime, we’ve given her clothing, a warm winter coat, personal care items and much more, thanks to the generosity of those in the community. Most importantly, we’ve given her the knowledge that someone cares. Someone will answer her call for help.

So when you’re complaining today about something small, as we all will, please remember this story. And remember to care about those who need it most.

Stacy Rich, Director of Marketing


Gratitude in Action

Thanksgiving is only two days away. It may be my favorite holiday of the year, all about family and food and gratitude.

In my mind, Thanksgiving kicks off not the holiday season, but the season of gratitude. This time of the year, it seems I always hear a news story or two about the benefit of the feeling of gratitude. There are scientific studies that link gratitude with happiness and better emotional health. That is certainly something to reflect upon, though it hardly seems surprising. Many of us give to charities during this time of the year as an expression of our gratitude for what we have. Most charitable organizations know that, which results in our mailboxes being filled with appeals for donations.

The act of giving can bring happiness and satisfaction. But giving is an action with effects that live well past the impulse to give or the glow of generosity. Recently, I visited the residential facility. One of the residents was “graduating” and returning to her home community. Her father was there. Staff and all of the other residential clients were there. Around the room and one by one, each gave the graduate a kind word, an affirmation, a wish for continued success. From the back of the room, I watched her father. He held his head down to hide the occasion tear. Finally, it was his turn to make a comment.

“This has been a long time in coming,” he said, “but now we are starting a new chapter.”

A new chapter. A father filled with gratitude. A child restored. Stories of renewed hope, confidence, and wholeness are the work of Crittenton. The generosity of our donors helps our clients to write those stories, to make them their own. Giving is powerful. Giving is gratitude in action.

Martha Wright
Development Mana

Do you know trauma? Crittenton does.

What is trauma?

Yes, it’s a house fire or a sexual assault or the death of a loved one. But did you know that trauma is much broader? It’s every family who has suffered through a divorce. It’s domestic violence. It’s someone with a substance abuse issue. It’s a parent or loved one serving prison time. It’s the chronic neglect some children experience from birth. So many of us have been affected by trauma.

For this reason, Crittenton Services continues to move forward with trauma-focused care when serving the state of WestVirginia.The name of our trauma framework is ARC, and it is a ground-breaking treatment option for trauma victims in all of the counties that we serve in West Virginia. The focus is on improving the ability of the clients that we serve to cope with the trauma that they have experienced. We want to strengthen the family unit. The foundation of ARC is attachment and we believe that attachment is also the foundation for every family to succeed. The relationship between parent/caregiver and child is a critical component to a healthy family. It is our mission to build attachment and strong relationships between family members.l

As a self-sustaining ARC agency, we have developed our own training curriculum for our staff and continuously train our employees to serve trauma victims of all ages and all communities. Crittenton has spent more than five years training and retraining our employees, making sure that our trauma-focused staff is the most prepared and well-trained, not only in West Virginia, but in the entire country.

Crittenton Services continues to pride itself on understanding the needs in our communities and across the state of West Virginia. We did our homework and know that trauma is the number one public health concern, not only in West Virginia, but across the United States.  And we plan to be a part of the solution.

Ken Nice, MSW, LGSW