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As Soon As Possible.

In our highly connected, instant gratification society, this acronym and the corresponding complete phrase have become more common in all aspects of our lives.

Unfortunately, it is especially common in the child welfare field. In some cases, it is a really good thing for the child, like when they are being brought to a place of safety and security. The problem is when it is applied to getting the child out of care A.S.A.P.

Children who are taken from their family home to come into the care and services of organizations like Boys and Girls Homes have experienced varying degrees of trauma. These different experiences, along with their personalities, determine what will best serve their needs to experience healing. There truly is no one size fits all timeline for healing. There are best practice models of care, like our Waccamaw Way, but they all have elements of variability that account for the differences of experience for each youth.

The kind of healing these children need is the kind that takes focused time and intention. It is not something that can be put on a generic timeline with guaranteed results. While we want the child to be healed A.S.A.P., we need to recognize that timeline is different for everyone.

I would like to add a small amendment to the idea of A.S.A.P. that I gained from a church gathering. Each attendee received one of those small, rubber message bracelets. On one side it had “A.S.A.P.” On the other side was the alternate definition for the acronym – Always Saying A Prayer. So now, when I see those four letters, I lean into this alternative idea. I especially apply it to the youth and families receiving care through BGHNC services. I am always saying a prayer for their well-being and success in life.

Melissa Hopkins is the Public Relations and Marketing Specialist for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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