Message From Crittenton’s CEO: 50th Anniversary Edition
I’ve been reflecting on the history of this agency. Fifty years. Many of those years have been spent navigating the numerous reforms and revolutions of child welfare, restorative justice, and mental health. Sometimes anticipating and being ahead of the curve, sometimes just going with the flow, sometimes forging our own unique path. And more often than not, getting it right.
The children, youth and families we serve have all experienced challenges. And not all will accept our help. It is tempting to blame the victim or turn away when they are not immediately grateful or politically ‘convenient’ to help. That is not who we are as an agency or as a people in this great nation. So, without apology, we do the right thing.
We continue to do this work despite limited resources. Where many agencies have been gifted their property, we have a mortgage. Where many agencies have celebrity endorsers, we let our clients speak for us. And where many agencies have the patina and gloss, we have the sweat of hard work. But that just means we have earned our own place.
I often get asked, why bother? It’s heartbreaking work sometimes. We can’t help everyone and a lot of what we do accomplish goes unrecognized. We sometimes hear from people that not everyone we serve ‘deserves’ our help. There will always be second-guessers and haters in the work we do. But we also draw great strength from those who do support our work. And, most of all, each one of us carries our own success story with us each day. Because we just might have been the difference that helped someone get past their trauma, hurt and anger, to become stronger. It only takes one to keep going.
So, why are we still doing the work? In a word, GRIT, Crittenton-style:
- Gravitas. We take it seriously. We incorporate the latest research on trauma and brain development in our programs, favor evidence-informed interventions, and constantly train, train, train.
- Resiliency. We pick ourselves up when we stumble. We learn, grow, and help each other along the way.
- Integrity. We own it. We are honest about our mistakes, take responsibility for our actions, and are transparent in our working relationships.
- Tenacity. We won’t quit. We don’t give up on kids or their families, not while there’s a chance we can make a difference. Even when we are working at it harder than they are.
Fifty years is a long story. But, in some ways, it is just getting started. We plan to be around for a long, long time.
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, medical, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, adoption, and transitional age youth services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.