Joanne Kinzinger has been a PCHAS Therapeutic Mentor at the Residential Treatment Center in Farmington, Missouri for three years. She began by working with two residents a few hours per week and soon added more.
The children living on our Farmington campus come from heartbreaking circumstances, Kinzinger says, and are wary of adults. “But I have the privilege of treating them like kids. We sit and play a board game or work on a craft, and I get to see the real child peek through, even if it’s just for a little while. Once they realize that I’m not there to judge them, they begin to open up and we can talk.”
PCHAS hires its mentors as staff and trains them in trauma-informed care. Even though it is a part-time job, it can be emotionally draining. But Kinzinger finds the work inspiring: “When you get to say goodbye to someone who is going home, it makes every tear worth it.”
changes children’s lives. In addition to the program at the Residential Treatment Center, PCHAS has mentors who meet with youngsters at schools and community centers. For more information, call 1-800-888-1904.