No, no, not the National Geographic kind.
The kind we families with services experience about twice a year, when our special kids finally start making a bond with their TSS or MT or other wraparound therapist and then that therapist moves on to brighter pastures elsewhere, at another agency that you’re not approved for.
I don’t blame them, of course. The therapists get opportunities for better jobs, better benefits, better wages in a field that doesn’t pay much to begin with, so you and I would be right on that bandwagon too.
All the same, when our kids have a condition that everyone agrees requires the greatest amount of structure and routine that we can arrange, don’t we worry that the constant turnover in (particularly) TSS workers isn’t in their best interests?
I wish that agencies could have their people sign some sort of clause that makes them agree they’ll stay around for at least some sane period, six months, a year, in order to get the job. (Wait, Miss Lawyer, wouldn’t that be involuntary servitude? I think if you’ll check all those law books on your shelf there, you might find it’s illegal… oh yeah.) But seriously, if an agency is going to put in time and energy to train someone, shouldn’t they have to stick around for some period of time?
Sadly, most agencies, at least in our area, are desperate for TSS workers to keep up with the community demand, so they’re not in a position to bargain much, I suppose. Having bodies to send out to work with the clients is important.
But encouraging children who already have trust issues to trust workers and bond with them, only to have to change a few months later? This reminds me of the situation I have with many of my family law parents, who parade a host of new boyfriends/girlfriends before the children, letting the children bond with the new friends, then kicking them out. The experts say these children will learn not to get close to others, even future partners, wrapped up in protecting themselves from the remembered hurt of potential loss.
It’s just sad to see it happen, during the seasons of the great migrations.
Thanks to photographer Royce Bair for use of this photo.