web analytics
September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Memories Of 30 Years (Part I)

Schild-Edwin

Our Agency, Regesh Family and Child Services, recently had a gala event to celebrate 30 years of providing services to children, teens and families.  One day before the event, someone asked me what seemed to be a simple question but, in reality, sent me back to the beginning.  The question was, “What have you learned from all those years?”  I couldn’t help but wonder where these thirty-plus years have gone and what I have accomplished as the founder and Executive Director. It also made me realize that I had been in the field for over thirty-seven years.  I found myself not only reminiscing, but actually thinking about this journey.

As I look back, it is clear that I learned much as an administrator and therapist – and as an individual experiencing life.  I hope you will stay with me as I reminisce.

In 1980 I was working as a child and adolescent psychologist in a Toronto hospital.  It was a “good enough” job, but I realized I needed to be challenged.  I had previously worked in a residential treatment program and felt I could make more of an impact on children’s lives if I returned to that environment.  I came across an advertisement for a position in Calgary, Alberta.  I was living in Toronto at the time and, to be honest, wasn’t really too sure where Calgary was.  However, I went to the interview and was totally shocked when I was offered the job – on the spot.

What do I do?  What do I say to my wife?  Is there a Jewish community with proper schools for our two children? My wife and I visited the community and decided to accept.  There were some adjustments to make, living in a very small religious community, a much colder climate and having more responsibilities – the challenge turned out to be wonderful!  The job was exciting and I worked with a great director and some fabulous staff.  Two years into the job, on a Friday morning, while my colleague, the director was on vacation, the executive director came in and fired us both.

I was too stunned to be angry, but what to do?  I went home and sat with my wife, who was wonderful, and who in hind-sight must have been more stunned and scared than I was, to reassess.

While we began throwing around the idea of moving back to Toronto, Phil, the director I was fired with, suggested we start our own agency – a short-term residential program for teens.

Then just when we were almost ready with our implementation plan, Phil announced that he had accepted a new job with the Ontario government and would be moving to Toronto.  Another major blow.

After many long days of soul searching, my wife and I decided to make the leap and open Regesh Family and Child Services.

I must say I have enjoyed almost every day of this journey, of being a positive catalyst in the lives of thousands.  There were days when I actually wondered if I was enjoying myself too much!  Of course, there were the other days where the stresses of the job, both therapeutically and administratively, seemed overwhelming.  However, I have learned to take each day as it comes, trying not to let the larger challenges get to me while enjoying the satisfactions of the many successes.  As I often tell clients, “Learn to accept what you cannot change.

I also think that I should thank the thousands of individuals who I have helped as each new client taught me something new which, I hope, has helped me assist the next person.  That’s a lot of accumulated learning and helping.  I have been humbled by the realization that I can’t help everybody, even if I want to.  I have learned to accept that there are some situations, problems, and personalities beyond the scope of my abilities.

I often think of Jessica, one of our first residents who came to us at the age of eight.  She had been terribly abused and, together with her siblings, had been removed from her home.  All of her previous placements were unsuccessful because of her severe behavioral problems.  When we opened our first group home, her social worker felt Regesh could be a good opportunity.

There was something special about Jessica, it’s hard to describe and may have been wrapped up in pity for this small little girl so alone and so hurt – and so very difficult.  Jessica became the child that almost everybody learned to dislike, both adults and other children.  She was having major behavioral problems in the group home, school and community.  Within the first year of her placement, the social worker wanted to move her as little progress had been made. Our response was simple: what would another agency do different than we were?

Long story short, Jessica stayed with the agency for six years and is now a mother and productive member of society.  In fact, she still stays in touch with us twenty-seven years later.  Jessica taught me a very important lesson that I use daily.  Sometimes, when children are acting out, it is merely a reflection of the pain they are feeling.  It’s not mischievous or malice but a lack of communication skills.  As Jessica told me once, “I wanted people to hurt as much as I hurt inside.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Memories Of 30 Years (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Justice Minister and Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked.
Upgraded Counter Terrorism Bill Passes First Knesset Reading
Latest Sections Stories
West-Coast-logo

Though each member of Meira Academy’s 2015 graduating class was accepted to a university, all of the girls have chosen to spend a gap year in Israel to attend seminary before they head to college.

The two Torah giants spent hours discussing a variety of Torah topics, some of which went well beyond subjects normally dealt with in Lithuanian yeshivas.

Lunchbox Restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Bringing your own sandwich to a restaurant would appear as the height of chutzpah, but not any more—at least not at Lunchbox…

Last year, OneFamily published a cookbook in Hebrew featuring the bereaved mothers’ recipes.

How did an unresolved murder case turn into an accusation of ritual murder?

Excerpted from The Apple Cookbook (c) Olwen Woodier. Photography by (c) Leigh Beisch Photography with Food Stylist Robyn Valarik. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

The flag had been taken down in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting and was now back and flying.

A light breakfast of coffee and danishes will be available during the program.

A variety of glatt kosher food will be available for purchase at Kosher Korner (near Section 1).

Jewish Press South Florida Editor Shelley Benveniste will deliver a talk.

Corey Brier, corresponding secretary of the organization, introduced the rabbi.

The magnificent 400-seat sanctuary with beautiful stained glass windows, a stunning carved glass Aron Kodesh, a ballroom, social hall, and beis medrash will accommodate the growing synagogue.

Even when our prayers are ignored and troubles confront us, Rabbi Shoff teaches that it is the same God who sent the difficulties as who answered our prayers before.

I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bullies, friendship and learning disabilities.

More Articles from Edwin Schild
Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

Schild-Edwin

We define stress as the feeling we get when there is too much to do and too little time to do it in.

I’d like to share some valuable insights that, with clear and meaningful understanding, will have a tremendous impact on our family’s future

Josh is only nine years old, yet he’s an addict. How is that possible? You’re wondering where he gets his drugs from, how does his addiction manifest itself and if there are treatment plans.

often find myself telling clients, “There is no such thing as emotions!” Then I wait for their reactions. My hope is that the client will challenge me, as obviously we all experience emotions. It’s the way we are wired.

In Part I talked about celebrating 30 years of Regesh Family and Child Services providing services to children, teens and families. I shared the agency’s origin and the many lessons I have learned through this journey. As I mentioned, it is my hope that my experiences will add to your toolbox of life skills.

As I look back, it is clear that I learned much as an administrator and therapist – and as an individual experiencing life. I hope you will stay with me as I reminisce.

I know what you are thinking. What possible situation could cause a professional to advise a parent to “Pray hard that your children ignore you”?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/memories-of-30-years-part-i/2013/11/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: