Some stories are emotionally difficult to write, like the August cover story for Amarillo Magazine. I'm always impressed with individuals like Clay Thomas, Sam Yarbrough, and Amy Anderson who invest so much time and energy into young lives. Raising and caring for children is a tough job, period. Raising and caring for troubled kids who are burdened by the emotional residue of the foster-care system? Exponentially harder. The employees at Arrow are pursuing a powerful calling and they're doing powerful work.
Consider one 11-year-old who recently arrived at Arrow’s new Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Arrow represents her 10th placement. That means she’s lived in 10 different places since entering the system. Ten different schools. Ten different roofs over her head. Ten different moves. Ten different communities of people. Ten different times, her life has been upended and her surroundings have completely changed. And that happened after she was removed from her family due to abuse.
“The trauma, feelings, hurt and frustration that they have are real. It’s not that this is a bad kid or a behavior they continue to choose,” says Thomas. In these cases, acting out through violence or even criminal activity is far more than just willful defiance. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s how children deal with the trauma they’ve been dealt.