The staff at Willow Rock serve a very challenging and often misunderstood adolescent population with many needs. Most of the stories are very sad and include significant amounts of trauma and neglect received from outside adults. As a result of this trauma, many of the patients at Willow Rock have learned maladaptive coping skills to deal with these behaviors such as self-harm and aggressive behavior towards others.
In addition, Willow Rock has been receiving an increased amount of patients with severe developmental disabilities which often include aggressive behavior. The staff here at Willow Rock have been kind, patient, and loving toward all of these individuals. Many have thought out of the box to help soothe them. Others have gone to outside training’s to develop new skills and acquire new resources to help these children. On any given day, we may be sworn at, hit, kicked, spit at, and the list goes on. These dangerous behaviors often require one-to-one staffing to keep the child safe. Staff have been very flexible with hours, coming in for extra shifts, updating treatment plans on a daily basis, and coming back for more day after day. When asked why they work at Willow Rock, often the answer is because we want to make a difference and let the youth know that there are good people out there and they do have hope and resources to recover.
I really appreciate the entire team/family here and would like to thank them for their continuous love and support for our patients and each other!
Nominated by Julie Hodges, DON at Willow Rock