Second Chance Youth Ranch works to serve both foster children and foster families.
One of the key ways they seek to serve is providing mental health care for children and families.
"The clinical team is a support system to serve our families," said Clinical Director Chad Strike.
Second Chance partners with the Counseling Clinic to provide services. Strike said Second Chance reached out for advice when they parted ways with their previous clinic partners. Counseling Clinic jumped at the chance to help.
"Counseling Clinic has been really pivotal," Strike said.
In his role, Strike works with admissions and discharge for Second Chance, as well helping the children to get in and stay in school. Second Chance works with reunification and adoption. They support children who choose not to seek adoption to prepare them to transition to adulthood.
While most counseling is done across a table or in an office, Second Chance goes to where the child is, such as in school, home or even taking the child on a walk. Strike said they work to wrap support around the children and families.
They understand many children who come into foster care have faced trauma. Strike said 80 to 90 percent of the children have witnessed domestic violence and many of the female foster children have experienced sexual abuse. The children may have experienced food insecurity and emotional trauma.
He said Second Chance is the most stable place many of the children have been.
As a a foster parent himself, Strike understands the need for support. When a foster family tries to do everything on their own, he said they can get overwhelmed. His team works to help, such as providing a night each month the parents can go on a date.
Strike said most people see a child acting out, but do not see what is causing it. The children are not bad. Often, they have a trauma they are reacting to.
He gave the example of a child who was getting in trouble for stealing food. Before being removed from his living situation, he had been food insecure. They worked with him to show him he could have all he needed when he needed it. He did not need to steal. They helped address the trauma.
He encouraged people to always be aware of how they respond to children who act out.
He talked about another child who was acting out and they learned he had sensory issues.
When they identify the cause, they can help the child.
They are able to help the children be productive, happy and build better relationships.
Strike is grateful for the support Second Chance gets from the community.
"Saline County really seems to take care of its own," he said.
There are many business and organization partnerships. Churches step up to provide respite care for families.
Strike said small things go along way to help foster families.
They are always happy to accept donations, volunteers and new foster families There are many ways people can help.
Anyone who would like to support Second Chance can visit www.2cyr.org to learn about the opportunities that are available.