This last month, there’s been so much to highlight and be thankful for! But by far, I’m most proud of how our awesome KYJO team came together, took ownership, and despite many obstacles, completed our CARF national accreditation survey.
Everyone, including our board, mental health personnel, direct care personnel, admins, main office personnel, foster parents, foster youth, and contracted partners, did their part to ensure we showed the CARF surveyors what we’re capable of. But as we pulled together, I think we impressed ourselves even more than we impressed CARF! Seeing everyone turn into believers and kick their work into high gear, without being asked, was truly inspiring.
Our CARF exit interview was held Nov. 16, and the surveyors confirmed they were impressed by the quality we’d achieved and the work we’d accomplished in a short period of time. CARF contains over 1700 standards, and we received less than 10 improvement recommendations from the exit interviewers! This was possible only because of our team’s effort. Hearing this great news was the perfect way to launch into KYJO’s 11th anniversary – which we celebrated on Nov. 17!
But while the CARF process was going on, we still had other work to do! Thanks to our team and our partners at Butler Branding, we successfully launched this year’s Angel Tree campaign. You’ve likely seen the well-designed ornament tags out at businesses throughout town. I’d like to take the time to thank all the organizations and individuals who are hosting a tree this year, and those who have purchased (or plan to purchase) a gift to help our kids have a wonderful, memorable Christmas. You guys are the holidays’ true winners!
We also had our FFA families participate in our Paintball Wars for the first time this year, and everyone had a blast! Out of the 40+ foster youth, foster parents, residents and staff who participated, more than 30 of them were playing paintball for the first time. Special thanks to Shayla for putting this together; it’s always a blessing when we can celebrate together as an organization and create priceless memories!
Thank you for a month of blessings!
KYJO Rockstar Award
This Month’s Rockstar: Sienna Curtin
This month, the KYJO spotlight falls on Sienna Curtin!
Sienna went above and beyond last month, helping not just our FFA department, but ALL our personnel prepare for CARF accreditation. There were a lot of late nights and weekend work, but Sienna had a goal in mind and was not going to rest until she completed it.
Well, sure, Sienna nailed the CARF accreditation. But then it was time for Angel Tree! And then, as if all that weren’t enough, Sienna took it upon herself to pick up 17 donated turkeys for our foster families and deliver them in time for Thanksgiving. All this while completing her last couple months of Master’s Degree coursework and rocking a smile!
Sienna’s a perfect example of what living by KYJO’s values and beliefs looks like! No matter the daunting task she finds a way to make things happen. That’s why she’s December’s KYJO Rock Star.
Residential Youth Homes - Highlights
On behalf of KYJO, we hope you and your loved ones had a blessed Thanksgiving! Our own Thanksgiving turned out amazing thanks to the generosity of others. Grocery Outlet donated a number of turkeys for our foster families and residential youth homes. As always, we’re so grateful to live in such a supportive community!
It was also an honor to be asked to participate in Freno’s 99th annual Veteran’s Day parade! We gladly made the time to participate, on top of our families’ camping trip and Paintball Wars, and the CARF accreditation process.
The CARF process absorbed a lot of our time, as we made sure our practices and policies matched the 1,738(!) CARF accreditation standards. But as Kevin said above, we made it, accrediting our Residential Youth Home, Foster Family Agency, and Mental Health Case Management programs – just in time to celebrate our 11th anniversary!
As we look forward to next year, we’re excited for all the new changes that are helping KYJO grow! These amazing achievements are for the betterment of KYJO, our families, and our kids, and we thank you for being on this journey with us.
P.S. – We also want to celebrate the success of Nixon, Serrena, and Joseph, who have moved up to the Impact Stage!
Foster Family Agency Highlights
The KYJO Foster Family Agency would like to congratulate two families on their adoptions last month: the Nord and Sanchez families!
Both families became KYJO resource parents about one year ago. Both received children into their home within a month of becoming resource parents. Little did either know, those children would be staying with them forever.
The Nords and Sanchezes both adopted during National Adoption Month this November. Our agency is so thankful to work with such amazing resource families who were able to open their homes and provide forever families to children in need.
Good People Get Good Results
As I thought about this month’s motivation, our work with CARF was foremost on my mind. You might think we’re making a big deal out of the CARF accreditation process, and we are – because it IS a big deal. CARF accreditation means a lot for KYJO, our fundraising efforts, our kids, and our families. Our team knew that, and they pulled together to make sure we flew through the process without a hitch.
I know I could not have pulled this off alone; I don’t think anybody could have! Which is why I’m thankful for, and motivated by, the people I’ve surrounded myself with on the KYJO team. The holidays are a time when we take a minute to appreciate the friends, family, and others who have helped us achieve success in the past year. So when you need motivation this month, think of the people who have helped you through your 2018, and the successes they helped you achieve. I think, like me, you’ll find yourself feeling incredibly blessed and thankful.