Jul 30

IM Moment Video: Perseverance and finding joy while working with challenging children


In this post, I thought it would be good to share a pair of clips from conversations I had with Steff Turner and ML Rutherford, two key leaders at Intermountain in Community-based Services and Residential Services. Together, they represent decades of experience in working alongside parents, foster parents, grandparents, educators, therapists, and other caregivers to provide care and support for struggling children and families.


Parenting and caregiving–the general act of raising a child– can be difficult, even in instances where the child or family are not in duress. The perceived need to be strong and persevere when addressing the special needs of a trauma-affected or emotionally disturbed child makes caregiving that much more exhausting. This need can also be a source of extreme joy… Yes, you heard me right! JOY.


Joy can come from the deep satisfaction of being  what a struggling child desperately needs. The words, “I love you” from a child that struggles to trust and attach in relationships means so much more knowing just how hard those words are to say for them. Joy also comes from finding your own soul’s unfinished work in the process. This is something that can allow you to be more authentic and real before God and others.



So, to all those caring for struggling children… hang in there. In the end, your perseverance could lead to joy. In those hard, sometimes soul-crushing moments, hold on to the hope that God is with you and loves both you and the child you are caring for more than you could imagine.


And, to those who are not currently caring for a child or a teen in need, look for ways to encourage, support and lift up those that are engaged in the ministry. Remember, listening can be a more powerful tool than offering advice and providing practical help (run errands, provide respite, offer to help with a meal or anything else the family might appreciate) can give a much needed break.


Also remember that Intermountain supports all those struggling to find joy. We are here to help build healthy relationship so if we can help in any way, please let us know!