J. Crum Explains How Emotionally Taxing Working with At-Risk Youth is
Being a part of a program like At-Risk Youth is emotionally taxing, J. Crum said. At the time of this interview, a kid Crum had housed in a group home program had been shot, mainly for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Unfortunately, this type of hostile environment is what these kids are used to, which makes it more difficult for social workers such as Crum to make a change in their lives.
“It’s tough because you try to teach and show that there’s a better way. Sometimes they don’t get it. I’m a small voice to the giant voice they hear every day. The consistent voice they hear is telling them there’s something less than what God made them.”
Crum explained his type of job necessitated him to give a lot of his time and emotions. Despite everything they give, sometimes, they receive ingratitude and cussing for their actions. To help, Crum said to keep praying for social workers to receive encouragement.
“[Asking for encouragement] feels weird for me to say, because you’re so used to giving. So to say ‘what do I need?’ feels tough. It’s a weird thing to answer.”
Not all is traumatic. Crum has seen fruits of his labor, such as messages from kids he has helped in the past.