The work our direct care staff does every day is unbelievably challenging, and it is an honor to help support the life changing work that happens at this organization. I feel incredibly lucky to work with a team that knows we have the responsibility to be there for every child, no matter what.
No Colorado child should be forced to move between 17 homes to heal
Children smile as they retell stories that recall happy times with mom or dad. These stories are unprompted, but so close to the surface that they burst out. One child told me recently of a fairy who accomplished amazing feats of bravery, and miraculously carried the storyteller’s name. She finished by saying “that was my mom’s favorite story” as she slowly gazes off.
Studies show that mindfulness is effective in helping children who have been abused or neglected by reducing stress and anxiety, hostility, suicidal thoughts and self-harm among other benefits. Clinicians at Tennyson Center for Children teach mindfulness techniques to children to help them learn calm, cope and reduce their anxiety.
Most money spent in the child welfare system comes after kids are in foster care. What if that’s backwards?
“Give us those families, the ones that you are heartbroken you are turning away,” Breslin said. “Our hope is you never see them again. Child welfare is always going to be needed, but it shouldn’t be at this level.”
On the last day of his life, Ron told Kathy that he hoped that in all the years of his ministry, he had “made a difference” along the way. After he passed, many people told Kathy and their children, David and Kristin, about the difference Ron had made in their lives. The family decided to “pay this difference forward” to the incredible staff at Tennyson Center who are changing the lives of children every single day.
From Hospital Interventions to Vaccines: the Expansion of Child Welfare to Focus on Prevention
Tennyson will always provide care and treatment to those who need it, without falter. However, we are also working to prove earlier, targeted, and creative interventions and partnerships to help families sooner. Healthy families mean thriving communities and fewer children entering the child welfare system…Instead of waiting until everyone needs the “hospital” interventions, we can provide full-strength preventative care “vaccines” earlier to the kids in Colorado.
When I need a moment to pause, a moment to collect myself and search for some hope and optimism, I head into my office and gaze at my walls. It is filled with paintings from children aged 5-17 years old whose journeys through child welfare, while bumpy, just might be trending upwards.
Operation Santa: The Power of Small Acts of Kindness
Through Operation Santa, our donors help us provide holiday magic to the kids and families of Tennyson Center. Their involvement enables us to provide a meaningful Christmas. We also rely on many volunteers to help with Operation Santa.
Life Skills Program at Tennyson Center for Children
The goal of Tennyson’s Life Skills Program is to set students up for success prior to discharging from Tennyson. Students aged 12 years and up are given the opportunity to earn an internship on campus; internships range from helping the marketing team to collecting recycling around the building to preparing meals for meetings.
From the CO Sun: Let’s help struggling families before bad situations spiral into abuse and neglect
The depth of trauma each child has experienced is significant. The abuse is profound and their case files are not easy to read. I meet many of these children and see the pain on their faces, in their eyes, in their mannerisms and in their behaviors — which range literally across the spectrum from angry and violent to meek and silent.
Re-blog: TCC Gives First Diploma Through Mill Levy-Supported Program
“They handed him his diploma, and it broke him,” Marlene said. “He told me, ‘Mom, I did it.’”
Gilbert graduated from high school through the Adaptive Skills for People with Emotional Needs (ASPEN) Program at the Tennyson Center for Children, making him the first to earn a diploma from the 115-year-old organization.
HB18 - 1003: The Opioid Prevention Program to Improve Young Lives
On March 13th, Tennyson Center CEO, Ned Breslin, was asked to testify to the Colorado General Assembly regarding the opioid crisis and the effects we see on the children and families we serve at Tennyson Center.
At Tennyson Center, our staff maintains engaging and effective programming through the summer months to address this challenge. We employ trauma-informed, experiential learning techniques such as our “Challenge by Choice” initiative that combines therapeutic support with Outward Bound-style adventures; horticulture through our healing garden and theme-based instruction like sports, electronics and others. Our Acute Skills for People with Emotional Needs (ASPEN) program also maintains meaningful programming in the summer for kids with autism spectrum and intellectual/developmental disorders.
Imagine your child has been struggling for months. Perhaps aggression, perhaps suicidal ideation, perhaps defiance or depression. He is in trouble at school, fighting with siblings, causing stress on your marriage and on the whole family. On top of that, you’re in danger of losing your job from having to take off work to help with crises all the time. You don’t have many supports and the bills are piling up. Finally you get referred for therapy services- only to find out that first you will have to wait 6-8 weeks on a waitlist. You know there is no way you and your child will be able to maintain for that long. The way things have been going, your child may end up in the hospital or in police custody soon, or you may lose your job. You simply cannot wait…
Since last spring, students have participated in growing their own food by planting, watering, and weeding the garden. As we embark on a new school year, we will continue to use this space as a laboratory for hands-on learning.
I imagine there are too many kids in trouble still hiding under beds, trying to disappear into their covers or closets, not sleeping for fear that someone will walk in on them at night as happened before, and whose terror level rises as their parents enter darker alcohol and drug induced mindsets that truly put kids’ lives and wellbeing at risk.
I did my best to prepare myself for the emotions I would feel on that Saturday, but nothing can prepare you for the emotion you feel when the buses arrive. The energy was positive and powerful. People were excited and ready to work. They asked questions of our programs and services, wanting to know about our kiddos and the positive impact they would be making.