Imagine that you are going out for an elaborate dinner at a fancy, new restaurant in town.
When you arrive, there is a valet and a coat check clerk. Someone opens the door for you as you’re greeted by a host, who introduces you to the person who shows you to your seat. Your specific server then comes to your table. While you order beverages, appetizers, and entrees, occasionally your water glass will get refilled. So far, 7 people have interacted with you- you haven’t even started eating yet.
Maybe your server is accompanied by others carrying trays to your table to bring you your meal. Since this is an upscale place, perhaps the manager pauses at your table to ensure everything is to your liking. At the end of the meal, you are bid a goodnight by the host, collect your coat from the clerk, and request your car from the valet (who sends a different attendant to actually fetch your vehicle.) Are you still with me? That puts you in contact with 12 people throughout the course of your dining experience.
Imagine now that you are a child who went to this fancy dinner. Alone. Imagine how overwhelming that must feel. To observe everyone talking around you, running around in order to serve everyone quickly. To look back as you walk away from your meal and see your table being cleared and prepared for the next person who will eat there. To feel like you had never even been there in the first place.
This is how many abused and neglected children in juvenile court feel. Surrounded by case workers, social workers, lawyers, judges, parents, foster parents, teachers, counselors, and police. So many different faces to try and remember, to understand.
Imagine if that child had help. If that child had one person he could always count on. One familiar face in every room she entered. One person who is always there when he needs support. One person who always asks, “what do you think?” One person who is always there for that child.