What is your position with Ellipsis?
I’m a caseworker.
How long have you worked here?
I have worked with Youth Homes of Mid-America and now Ellipsis off-and-on for approximately nine years.
Have you had any other roles/jobs during your tenure with Ellipsis?
I started out in 2012 as a youth care worker for about a year before transitioning to a caseworker position until 2019 when I left to move out of town with my wife. Fortunately, we moved back to town in 2021, and I was able to come back to my job as a caseworker.
What drew you to work at Ellipsis?
What initially drew me to Ellipsis was the opportunity to help the youth in the community, but I definitely grew to love the culture. I think of the staff as my work family, and I don’t want to lose them or our culture again. Everyone does much better work when they are passionate about why they do it.
Can you recall a moment (during your career with Ellipsis) when you felt like you were in exactly the right place, doing exactly what you should be doing? What was that like?
Having to leave this job once to move out of the area and then being able to come back and have the same position has definitely solidified it for me that this is what I’m supposed to be doing on a daily basis. Moving gave me the option to explore a different field outside of this, and I just always had the feeling that I was meant to help others. Having the opportunity to come back has helped me realize that I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else.
What are some of the more challenging aspects of this job?
One of the more challenging aspects of the job is the emotional toll that working with kids and families can have, helping them to deal with their trauma and putting as much effort in as possible to help kids and their families succeed. It is so important to have a strong support system to be able to help with the good days and bad days.
What are some of the rewarding aspects of the job?
The most rewarding aspect of this job is seeing the success stories and being there when the light bulb goes on for one of our kids and starts to see that path to success. In these moments, seeing that kid start to realize what to do and how to do it — and then putting it into practice — is such a rewarding feeling.
Why is it important to have residential programs in communities, and qualified people working in them?
There is such a need for our services, at all the levels at which people can struggle. It is important that we have strong staff and a place for kids and families to turn to as these families could be struggling on a daily basis and just need someone to turn to for help. Having strong staff that can help with these issues can be an important piece to helping turn lives around so that these families can rest easier and feel more confident in their abilities.
What is a misconception people may have about mental health treatment? How do you dispel that?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that youth we work with are “bad” kids. In reality, these are young kids who will grow up to be our friends, neighbors and co-workers, and they’re just looking for the chance to turn their lives around so that they can be successful in this world. They are great kids who have a lot of personality and skills to offer, and it is so rewarding to help others see that and dispel the notion that they can or should be written off.
One of the ways that we can dispel that is by allowing the kids that we work with to integrate back into the community, whether that is going to public school, getting a job off campus, etc. There are ways that these youth can be out in the community and show others that they are just like everyone else, and it is rewarding when these kids have that chance to go into the community and share their skills and personality with others.
If there’s anything else you’d like to add about your role, please feel free to do so!
I love working at Ellipsis!