‘Thank You for Making Me Feel Loved When I Felt Like No One Did’

Each day, Great Circle’s staff helps children and families navigate life’s challenges. Our staff often finds success comes through incremental changes that can lead to huge differences in people’s lives.

Keri Bagley is an Intensive In-Home Services (IIS) program specialist in northwest Missouri. IIS focuses on at-risk families, providing guidance, therapy and support to address specific challenges (such as risky behaviors) with the goal of strengthening the family unit. She often sees that it takes a tough decision to yield a positive outcome.

One of Bagley’s recent home visits began with the mother admitting she was using meth and realizing she needed to get help immediately. “I stayed with her while she contacted (the state of Missouri’s) Children’s Division and admitted her drug problem, then as she told her children she had to go away for a while, and while she tearfully waited for her ex-husband pick up them up,” Bagley said. The family’s outcome is still unsure, but Bagley sees the seeds of future success in the mother’s determination to get help. “It was one of the worst days of her life, but together we made sure her children were safe.”

Of her daily work, Bagley said, “We are entering a family’s life at a critical time. But just being there to listen can be the catalyst that positively changes a parent’s or a child’s life forever.”

For some children, the family home isn’t a safe place or their journey requires 24/7 care in a therapeutic setting. After more than two years on our St. James campus, Sam (not his real name) is now part of a stable home with relatives in Indiana. “He came to us a very angry person and had setback after setback,” said Sara Lahman, director of residential treatment services. “As he was leaving, he left a letter for Lisa Paulette, our milieu services manager, but said not to open it until he was gone.”

“Thank you for never giving up on me,” he wrote in part. “Thank you for making me feel loved when I felt like no one did …. I won’t let all your hard work and motivations go to waste.  P.S., I just want you to know you’re one of my heroes and it takes a lot to be my hero.”