January ’12 Interview with Denise Qualey
Managing Director at Kids in Crisis, CT
JS: What does Kids in Crisis do?
DQ: KIC’s mission is to protect infants, children and teens from abuse and family crisis. To this end we provide free, round-the-clock crisis intervention, counseling and emergency shelter, prevention programs in local communities and advocacy throughout Connecticut.”
JS: How long have you been doing this and what have been some of the greatest challenges?
DQ: I have worked at KIC for 29 years and first started as an intern! The biggest challenge is dealing the changes at the state level and how they are utilizing services for kids (i.e there is a new commissioner of DCF) and the complications around funding teen talk programs. People like to pay money to put out the fire but not for preventing the fire.
JS: What does self-care mean to you?
DQ: Self care means setting boundaries, and the importance of being in tune with yourself and checking in. A lot of agencies don’t provide great supervision from clinicians (which helps staff process their cases). I recommend emerging professionals look for this when looking for jobs in the field of clinical work.
*Sometimes informational interviews lead to incredible opportunities. For instance, after my conversation with Denise, I was invited to observe a Safe Talk presentation in Kindergarden and 1st grade classroom. SafeTalk, is a series of workshops for elementary schools, which teaches children to be safe from bullying and abuse.