Building Resilience and Optimism – The Experience of a Nebraska Child and Family Services Specialist

Optimism, or positive thinking, can be learned and is important to building resilience. By developing a practice of reframing and controlling self-defeating statements automatic negative thoughts can be replaced with positive ones. By focusing on the positive, individuals are more apt to remain hopeful, resilient, and focus their energy on things they are able to control.

In this video, Gage Latscha, a Child and Family Services Specialist (CFSS) within the state of Nebraska, shares his personal reflections as a participant in CFS Strong, the workforce intervention being tested by the QIC-WD.  CFS Strong was developed to address ongoing and acute traumatic experiences inherent in child welfare work. Part of CFS Strong is aimed at encouraging adaptive coping behaviors through regular skills-based practice. One of these coping skills is optimism.

As Gage explains, “We’re just trying to help people every single day and we try to stay optimistic as much as we can.” However, recognizing the inherently difficult nature of child welfare work, it is important to encourage the regular practice of adaptive coping behaviors. The CFS Strong program provides a space for this. This video was filmed when Gage was mid-way through the program. The concepts taught during that portion of CFS Strong are from the Resilience Alliance curriculum. Learn more about the Nebraska project here.