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Tarrant County 5 Stones September 2023 Meeting

Here is our recorded meeting link and chat notes for our September 2023 TC 5 Stones meeting!

Our 5 Stones meeting this September consisted of some updates and a presentation by Carrie Grace, Executive Director of Freedom Shield Foundation, as she discussed the importance of self-care and avoiding burnout as service providers.  

Link to the recorded meeting:

Copy of the presentation slide deck:

The chat log is how our audience is able to introduce themselves and their agencies.  Here is the link to the chat log:

Spotlight Agency this month – Traffick911:  https://www.traffick911.com/

We had 6 agency announcements this month:

  • Next month's speaker is coming in from Austin. You won't want to miss Kirsta Melton, former HT prosecutor for the 's Office. She is going to present on Pimp Culture: The Normalization of Sexual Exploitation. Her years of working child cases led her to explore some of the things we do or allow as a society that set the stage for victimization of our children and youth. Kirsta will also be presenting a Case Study at an Unbound Now event the Monday evening before 5 Stones – Monday, October 30, 7-8:30 at  Christ Chapel. Please register at: https://unboundnow.givevirtuous.org/Event/kirsta-melton-on-child-sex-trafficking-a-case-study. Kirsta is a phenomenal speaker. The case study she presents provides a glimpse into the hard work our law enforcement and prosecutors do to seek justice and what the process looks like for victims and victim service providers. 
  • Karen Wiseman with the 5 Stones Foundation – Human Trafficking Awareness month is January and 5Stones Foundation will be making up to $5,000 grants for members to use in events bringing awareness to HT.  Wes Toland sent an email out with all the details.  If you did not receive the email, please let Wes know.  And for information on how to become a 5Stones member, email Felicia.Tallent@fortworthtexas.gov.  
  • Paola Chavez Reyes with Unbound Now – Faith and Community Leaders Luncheon will be held on October 5, from 12-2:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of One Safe Place, located at 1100 Hemphill in Ft. Worth.  This event is hosted by the Tarrant County Human Trafficking Task Force.  We will be discussing human trafficking as it relates to your community with breakout sessions focused on intersectionality.  Lunch will be provided and we hope to see you there.
  • Sonya Brooks with Unbound Now – Update from our session last month regarding the HTYPE and FWISD.  One of the questions received last month was how can parents enroll their children in the Prevention Education training with FWISD.  Parents can enroll their children in Prevention Education during student enrollment.  We now have the number of students who can be trained on Prevention Education and that number is 31, 247 students.  Thank you for helping to spread the word and go, FWISD!
  • CJ Winslow with Catering to Love – CTL needs volunteers to help with their Family Fall Festival on Sunday Oct 8th.  For more info, visit: https://cateringtolove.org/family-fall-festival/.  To sign up to volunteer, use this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090A48A4A929A6F85-44499824-family#/.  
  • There are community safety fairs that occur around Fort Worth which would love to have anti-trafficking organizations host a table of information for the families that attend.  If your agency would like to with these, email Felicia.Tallent@fortworthtexas.gov.  

It is that time of year again to nominate community difference-makers for the 5 Stones award!

We have 3 categories for awards:  Law Enforcement Excellence, Victim Advocacy, and Community Impact.  You may nominate up to 3 people, one per category.  All nominees will be reviewed by the 5 Stones steering committee and the top candidate in each category will be chosen.  The awards will be presented at the end of November, 2023.  

Here is a link to the award nomination survey.  Follow the link to see the criteria for each award.  Be ready to provide a narrative describing why this person is being nominated.
This survey is due no later than October 6, 2023.

This is also the time of year when we conduct our Amazon Gift Card drive for survivors.  We are collecting $25 digital gift cards now through November 30th.  At the beginning of December, we will then distribute the gift cards to select 5 Stones partner agencies that have direct victim services.  To purchase a gift card, follow this link: https://cutt.ly/AmazonGiftCard2023 and use Felicia.Tallent@FortWorthTexas.gov as the email address it should be sent to.  

For those wanting to get more involved, follow the link below to see a list of ways you can participate in anti-trafficking efforts!

How Can I Help List:

Thank you for joining us!  

Felicia Tallent, Founder
Tarrant County 5 Stones Taskforce

TC 5 Stones September 2023

Our 5 Stones meeting this September consisted of some law enforcement updates and a presentation by Carrie Grace, Executive Director of Freedom Shield Foundation, as she discussed the importance of self-care and avoiding burnout as service providers.

Carrie Grace has been serving survivors of human trafficking since 2011. She has specialized in the area of trauma and post trauma resiliency. She has developed programs and curriculums which are used in prevention, education, and restoration services around the world. In 2016, she founded the non-profit Valiant Hearts which serves survivors in the Dallas Fort Worth area. She also developed a stabilization program which she implemented in Iraq on behalf of the rescued victims of ISIS. She has created programs, curriculums support groups, and educational tools to be used in churches, schools, and non-profits. In 2017, she established the first long-term restoration program for victims of sex trafficking in Scotland. In 2018, she opened an emergency housing program for sex-trafficked victims in Texas. In 2019, she joined Freedom Shield Foundation as Executive Director. Freedom Shield Foundation has been setting captives from human trafficking since 2009. Carrie was brought on to provide aftercare programs for survivors. In 2020, she launched a safe house program in the DFW metroplex under the Freedom Shield Foundation, which currently has two locations, as well as an emergency shelter.

Over the course of her career, she has provided advisory services in the United States, Scotland, the Philippines, and Iraq. She has also trained and advised members of government, law enforcement, education, the medical community, churches, and NGOs. In 2023, she launched Carrie Grace Consulting full-time and now offers her knowledge and experience to assist other leaders and non-profits in successfully fulfilling their unique missions.

Unedited YouTube Transcript

I have a few other announcements we are approaching the October 6 deadline on
nominations for Five Stone Awards there are three categories law enforcement
Excellence Victim Advocacy and Community impact the link to the nomination form
has been included in the meeting email and a slide that should be
circulating um after the meeting please make sure you submit your nominations by
October 6 and weting gift cards as we have in
the past for survivors for the holidays more details to come but I wanted to
give you a headb up so if you plan toward that um you'll be able to purchase the in October and November and
we will distribute them to five to partner agency that serve survivors and
help them provide some holiday Che next month's speaker is coming in
from Austin Texas We won't to miss CH M former
fcut for this Texas ATT General's office she is going to present on cure the
normalization of sexual exploitation her years of working child
sees L her to explore things we do or allow as a society that set the stage
with recation of our children and youth I'm going to take off my five hat for
just a minute and put on my ound now hat Pi will be presenting a child seex
trafficing Cas study at an Unbound now event the Monday evening before the
October 5 that's Monday October 30th 7 to 8:30 Christ Chapel is
hosting this event on the here in Fr faes with
register there isn't a charge to ATT help the plan for the
state here the phenomenal speaker I hope you'll come and learn more about
child believing in appreciation for the hard work our law enforcement and
prosecutors is and what the process looks like victims and their families and victim
service providers we would really appreciate you helping us get the word out about both
of Pi's presentations Karen Wiis is going to
come and share an announcement about five Stones Foundation partner agency
Grant opportunity while Ken is coming if you have an agency announcement would you
please make your way toward the so that we can have those announcements to
follow hey good morning I'm Karen Risman executive
director of the five STS foundation and January there's human trafficking
awareness month so you should have received an email from web we're making
available $5,000 grants for organizations who are going to be
sponsoring um events or projects related to human trafficking prevention so you
should have received the email if you didn't please reach out to Wes and if you're interested in becoming a partner
it's a very easy process and just reach out to Felicia granson thank
you hi everyone my name is Chavez I'm the community outreach coordinator for I'm now in I wanted to invite faith and
Community leaders luncheon on October 5th it's hosted by the tan County traffing task force it will be at one
safe place I have a few Flyers there you'd like to take a picture of them or if you know any faake Community leaders
that are wanting to get involved for the very first time in in anti-trafficking space them um and then it's October 5th
12:5 p.m. there'll be free lunch and a chance to connect with members from thank you good afternoon
everybody my name is Sonia Brooks I'm director of prevention education for Unbound now
it's an Unbound thing today and for those of you guys who are here to hear about the fort wor I pipe
Grant last month I wanted to give you guys a great update somebody asked the question of how do we know or how can
parents enroll their kids in prevention education and so I told you guys the district actually um had a process in
which that was part of student enrollement well we have numbers can I get a drum
31,000 thank you guys for telling
everybody go how's thecas do all right great thank you do that for you just had a couple
quick announcements here uh firstly we we're throwing a fall festival we're bringing together all the Foster
families of BFW I've got 80 families registered as now and they can I actually shut it off and I start getting
emails asking if more Jo I just turn it back on I what the Lord's got this see how here's the challenge I need more
volunteers than I have in my you know so if any of y'all are willing to come out and just spend a Sunday afternoon with
these families helping me with the bounce house or the pings who were decorating pin and have you I've got a little QR code here just come on I'll
just leave it when I go so you come up shoot that thing and to sign up for whatever's there a sign up gen for the details I'll email you the parking that
and all that stuff and the other thing uh last time we were here I mentioned we have a North Division crime prevention
Fair now the previous one I did on this I do snow con probably 400 50 of those
are the same kid so 350 so I see a lot of public there um I
had a a male and is probably girlfriend and probably her daughter which I would
not have approved the dress if he can kind of go where I'm going and I charge him smiles and I do this and when he
gave him permission to give me a smile for a snow cone I looked around for somebody representing the human
trafficking space in the vendor setting there and there's nobody there nobody is
in the setting what I did I some of these little forms over here that North Division has you fill out to come out
and be present if you would like to engage with the public in a setting where there's several hundred people coming so I'll leave both of those there
for you if that's anything of Interest pass on thank you all right I am excited to welcome
our five ston Spotlight agency of the month traffic
911 um I have the joy and privilege of walking alongside Lindsey speed and traffic 911
for many years now um they are a true partner and collaborator in the space
and I'm glad for you to get to learn more about them today um please welcome lindsy speed
um I'm I'm the executive director of traffic 911 we were founded in 2009
we're nonprofit organization even though some people think like do we do traffic stops or you know when you call one you
get us neither of those things um but we are nonprofit we're found in 2009 so we're in our 14th year of
anti-trafficking service and I like to say our mission has really never changed over the 14 years but our how has
evolved side the movement really and I like to think I guess of the movement as
like this wheel and we're all sort of spokes in the wheel and I think what I'm
encouraged about is that 10 to 15 years ago we were all trying to be all folks
and now What's happen if we're all sort of learning where our sweet spot is and what spoke makes most sense for us to
contribute into the anti-trafficking space so for us right now that is uh
providing 247 crisis response and relation relationship based services to
child sex trafficking survivors here across the north Texas area so we have a team of Advocates who are full-time
staff uh who serve just around 300 child sex trafficking victims over the year
and mostly from crisis responses from law enforcement so our team responds out
in crisis within 60 Minutes of a kiddo being recovered by law enforcement and after he goes out with a backpack and
smile someone's food and just speak begins to build relationship and Advocate with them within systems and so
we do this in tant County Dallas County Colin County Denton College county and
Ellis County I want to get that right and so we do this as a part of the multidisiplinary teams for child sex
practicing survivors and so uh as you know most most of you know about the Children's Advocacy centers they are
sort of the air traffic controller if you will for heex traffing victims that come in and then our role is sort of the
be specialized Advocate that gets assigned to the child sex trafficking victims here in t County that's us and
Unbound that we assign these these uh these Advocates to the kids and just kids walk alongside of them in
relationship and also uh just be there for them through all the ups and downs and sideways and things like that and so
we love what we get to do we're hiring right now uh really there's no shortage of CeX traffing victims here in the DFW
area so we're almost always hiring uh if you know if anyone who would want to be a full-time Advocate with us we are
based in Addison but our team is really sprinkled across the whole metrop placex because we respond in community with
these kids and so come see us if you're interested in a job or you know someone
who is and also we have a little fire sell we're getting rid of a lot of merch uh because we got some new merch coming
in so if you want to grab something out of the table for five bucks on theno let
us know but grateful to be a part of fils grateful for all of you guys and where you are and helping this movement
so thank now it's time for our law enfor
prosecutor updates we have detective Oran from I don't think any
the if I missed you please come up and follow
the good morning um so this past weekend we did have a human trafficking
operation with other units in our department as well as parent County did assist us we had DPS HSI FBI Unbound in
traffic 911 um who were there to assist in the recovery of any victims that we did come in contact with so we came in
contact with multiple people we had 16 who we actually had or our UC officer
actually had communication with and we were able to interview them of those 16 we did have um one juvenile who um we
were able to traffic 911 one of their Advocates really connected with her she
didn't want to have anything to do with us as law enforcement but her and The Advocate really made that connection and
she walked with her when we took her to the hospital and um it was it was a
blessing that they were there so just I can't even thank them enough we also had
one male who our UC officers were made contact with so our our officers also
made contact with nine individuals who either dropped off those that we were in communication with or were in the
vehicle with the driver um the male who was actually with the juvenile was on
bond for a federal gun charge and he ran from the officers when they approached uh to speak to him so he was arrested
for evading but then also the charge of human trafficking a person under the age of 18 in that same vehicle there were two
other females who appear they may be victims as well but we're in the early
stages of that investigation at the time there wasn't an outcry made by those two so it is still ongoing
um out of all the 16 that we were able to come in or that we did come in contact with with the exception of one
all of them spoke to The Advocates who were there all of them spoke to either Unbound War traffic 911 or those
additional that they were able to connect them with um so we did
um our unit taught an advanced human trafficking class our current lateral class where there were currently eight
officers from outside of the State of Texas who are in our lateral class and I
say that because also this weekend I received a call from Patrol who um they
were actually on an assault call but we're seeing signs of trafficking and so gave us a call and so not only with what
we're doing here in our unit for our office officers and our um recruits that are coming through the training but just
the community that all the training that y'all are doing in Unbound going out to the communities all of that training is
we're really beginning to see that people are looking people are watching for signs and really important for our
officers because previously they might have gone out and for them it may have just been an assault call they passed it
on you know write it up send it to that DET domestic violence unit but now that
they're actually asking a few more questions and looking for c for signs that we've given them during the
training their eyes are you know open and they're um calling us giving us
additional information sending us photos where we're able to do an investigation on our side so but it takes all of us so
um I think all in all it was a good weekend and we just hope to do more and
recover a lot or so thank
y'all now I have the priv of introducing today's speaker har
bra Grace has been serving survivors of human since 2011 she has specialized in
the area of praa Rec and post tra resilience she has developed programs
and curricula which are used in prevention education and restoration services around the world in 2016 she
founded the nonprofit Valiant parts parts which serve survivors in the Dallas Fort Worth area she also
developed a stabilization program which she implemented in Iraq on behalf of the res few victims in Isis she has created
programs for support groups and Educational Tools to be used in churches schools or nonprofits in 2017 she
established the first long-term restoration program for victims of sex trafficking in Scotland in 18 she opened
an emergency housing program for sex traffic victims in Texas in 2019 she
joined Freedom Shi Foundation as executive director Freedom show Foundation has been setting captives
free from Human tring since 2009 har was brought on to provide after care
programs for survivors in 2020 she launched a safe house program in the DFW
metroplex as the freedom Shi Foundation which currently has two locations as
well as an emergency sh shelter over the course of her career she has provided advisory services in the United States
Scotland the Philippines and Iraq she has also trained and advised members of
government Law Enforcement Education the medical community churches and NGS in
2023 she launched car Grace Consulting full training and now offers her knowledge and experience to assist other
leaders and nonprofits success fulfilling their unique missions har is
a longtime member five stones and served on the feston steering committee for several years we are grateful for her
leadership in our community and honored to have her share with us today please welcome Carrie
Grace hello everybody um I'm excited to get to share with you all there went my
glasses we'll get those in a minute um on a topic that I think is pretty
relevant for this particular audience um we're going to be talking
about well are my slides going to show here yes just click through on the yeah that right we got this and you got to go
a little bit through all these go through that
that two more I think it's GNA it
okay there we go okay we're going to talk about how we can serve with
excellence and also avoid burnout because guess what when I
entered into this field I was told the amazing exciting news that the lifespan of someone working in anti-trafficking
advocacy work was five years Lindsay were you told the same thing we're like
okay what are we supposed to do at that Mark you know and we're still here I think that's kind of amazing um so it is
possible to keep going after the fiveyear mark which is encouraging but
for those of you that have been in this space of working in anti-trafficking you
know the challenges that come with that the compassion fatigue right that will
affect you at some point or just the feelings of disappointment or disillusionment that can happen because
my gosh we thought we've done such great work and then she went right back right and we we own that choice and we feel
like that was because of us it was our responsibility somehow there's so many ways that this can affect
us those of us who are trying to provide really excellent care um it's also
interesting that when you research the issue of burnout that the top two industries that experience burnout the
most are those in the medical community and those in the um Social Work category
how many hands do we have here today that fall into those categories right okay so this is a highly susceptible
audience for burnouts I want to share just a little bit of a a quick analogy with you
because I think sometimes those of us who are in this space what we do matters
to us tremendously we didn't get into this work out of you know boredom we didn't
get into this work because we thought it was cool if that were the case we would have gotten out already all right we're
in this because we feel called and um those of you that are
Faith background there's a scripture in Daniel that says that the enemy's strategy is to wear out the Saints and I
feel like sometimes that's really the strategy that's coming against those of us into space so I want to share an
analogy with you we're going to use our imaginations for a moment I want you to imagine that
tragically you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor
and you are having to quickly choose a brain surgeon you're going to have to have a very extensive surgery and
recovery and you are presented with the option of two surgeons that you get to choose
from surgeon a has just as many surgeries as surgeon B they have the
same degree background everything is equal right they perform the same number
of surgeries even but you have the unique opportunity that you're going to get to look at the
24 hours of their personal life leading up to your
surgery so surgeon a as You Follow the 24 hours of his life leading up to your
surgery you see that this individual is man he has got some family
problems he and his wife have been at it for days they're now in separate rooms
and it is stressful okay he's just trying to avoid her honestly at this point as much as possible right and
their kids are just in those teenage years of rebellion and he's kind of lost control right and he feels it and so
sometimes it's easier to just keep working because I mean after all he is a surgeon he's gonna make more money might
as well work right he gets home late he goes ahead and has you know a nice
cocktail before bed watches TV finally crashes around I don't know
midnight wakes up just in time to get to the hospital for your surgery he grabs a
cup of coffee and a doughnut on the way in and he's there ready to do the job
okay that's surgeon a now we have surgeon B surgeon B is super cautious
about his personal self-care he makes sure that he has
created some margin in his life so that he is able to work out when he gets off of his shift he ate a healthy dinner his
wife was there with him supporting him he went to bed early because he knew he had to be up early for your surgery so
he wanted to make sure you had plenty of sleep because sometimes those surgeries end up taking longer than you think he
gets up in time to have a healthy breakfast he arrives at the hospital in
plenty of time he's early to make sure he's met with the team everything is in place and he's ready to go he's able to
talk to you ahead of time to just kind of reassure you okay who wants surgeon a
and who would prefer maybe surgeon B right I'm gonna go surgeon B I'm gonna
pick the person that I feel like is showing up in the best condition good and I think that sometimes we we can see
the importance of that when it comes to something like a brain surgeon but we don't realize how important it is for
those of us who are serving the most vulnerable population we could be trusted to
serve and we have to take that seriously we have to take it serious enough that
we're going to take care of ourselves in such a way that when I show up I'm
actually bringing a lot of resource to the table I'm not coming in a deficit
I'm coming with overflow and I'm speaking um from personal
experience um because as we were here in the whatever the intro thing in 2016 I
started I was still running Valiant farts so that was like full-time I was also at the time a single mom um I had a
teenage son and he was full-blown basketball kid like that's what we did
year round was basketball which was great because he chose an indoor sport I mean I'm excited
about I was not Outdoors so I am GL to play basketball um so that was the other
half of my life and then I was asked to go to Iraq and start working with the
victims of Isis um it was it was quite a full
schedule in about six months I had made four trips to Iraq i' made a deal with
my son I wouldn't be gone more than 10 days at a time and um it was it was a lot and the
trauma there was the worst trauma I've ever heard in my life life I still don't even tell people the stuff that I know I
still have stories and I don't know if there are any of you out here that can relate to this I have two stories that are still stuck in me I get te eyed when
I think about them because they're still in me and as much as we try to to
release trauma and be able to move forward sometimes there's just this place where something gets lodged in and
you just carry it and that's just part of what I think maybe will be um the rest of my life I don't know but it was
a lot m 1 and I came back from my fourth trip and I was pretty much
exhausted um at the time it was a small nonprofit you know how it is we're just
praying that everyone can get paid like that's just the truth of it okay praying
that everyone can get paid this PID period And I had not taken a day off since I started working there so I was
four years in with not a day off M and now I'm dealing with I am I'm dealing
with some secondary trauma and so I went to the board and asked if I could possibly take a
vacation finally because I hadn't done that yet and at the time and this is
please these are wonderful people I just want you to understand the mindset of a board of a nonprofit sometimes okay
because this is real too and their first response was not of course we can tell you're exhausted you a break their first
response was well how much money is in the bank right now and that devastated me I thought I
haven't worked hard enough yet to prove that I deserve time off that's how I
interpreted that which was on me that was not on them they have the right to
ask a question right so I'm not trying to play a victim story here that's not the purpose of that story but it reveals
something about me because my response was to feel like I had to work even harder to prove myself so by the time
2019 came two years of Carrie now trying to
prove herself um I was not in a good place and I I just want to apologize to
people that were maybe under my care or on my team at that time because I was really in a place of asking myself on a
consistent basis do people know know when they're going to have a nervous breakdown or do
they just have one and I wasn't going to say that out loud because I didn't want my job to be
at risk okay single still single mom over here trying to do a thing but
that's what I was dealing with inside I did not know if I was okay or not and I
had the reality of watching my own mother be taken by ambulances to Mental Hospitals for having breakdowns so for
me it was a real thing that I was concerned about but I kept
going I kept going and I want to just say to
you at that point I was not providing excellent
care I wasn't and this is where you just have to hope that God is covering any harm
that you would cause because of the place that I was operating from so I don't come to you saying this like let's
talk about excellent serving with excellent and not getting burnt out I'm not saying that from a place that I have the answers because I did this right I
am here to tell you I have been so close to thinking I might lose it completely
that that's the place I come to you from it's in humility and don't do what I did
the life lesson from the is always don't do what I did so I've worked really hard at
Freedom Shield Foundation to create a culture that would never allow anyone on
my team or that is being Serv as to ever get to that point ever because that's
not okay and I I'll tell you a good litness test is the fact that my daughter is our program director so
sometimes if you happen to be the one in leadership and you're the one creating the culture for a team imagine if my own
child had to survive in my culture would they be able to or would this eat them for
lunch sometimes it's a helpful litness test to just imagine the person that is most dear to you would you want them to
have to serve in the culture that you've created um it's it'll keep you uh on
straight nrow I'll tell you that because I don't want to happen to my daughter what happened to me so we're going to
talk about just a little bit of the statistics because some people really like numbers some people like stories
we're going to do both for all of you today first of all is that um see I'm I
have to do it on both I have a laptop and a deal here we got this I'm going to figure it out so right now we have a
stat that 77% of us workers are reporting that they're experiencing
workplace stress just within the last month okay I mean let's all say yeah we
can probably relate to that right that doesn't seem so shocking stress is something that is is not too
uncommon now this is what's interesting if you have a lot of millennials on your team for some reason there's something
about that particular generation that they are experiencing burn out like at
high high rates 84% of them are saying that they're experiencing in their current position I'm not even looking at
my husband right now because he's gonna make Millennial jokes I just know
here this is also interesting that women are more likely 32% more likely than men
28% to experience Brown um I've been researching that quite a bit just because it's still in
our recent history that women entered into the workplace the way that we have
now historically women were at home right and men were the ones in the
workplace well all of that changed again if you just follow the history with
World War II and now we're getting involved and we got to go to the factories and we got to make stuff and we got to do all the things and that
shifted our culture forever but when what's interesting is that men are made
with single Focus whereas women are made with diffused Focus which means we're doing 15 things
at once right and y'all are like I will work and then I will come home
right are gonna be distinct and women are like we gotta change the diapers and do the laundry we gotta cook the dinner
we gotta do we are made to flow throughout a day and do a lot of
different things but not necessarily focus on one thing and then you know everything else and so I think that that
may be one of the contributing factors is that it's just going against our our design and our wiring to work in this
way um I don't know maybe some of y'all are getting to work from home and you have a little bit more flow now after co
uh over 50% of women in leadership feel burned out on a consistent
basis two-thirds of full-time employees say that they have experienced burnout
at some point so I'm not the only one I won't make you raise your hands if you
have but I'm not the only one in this room that has experienced that and 36%
of workers state that their organizations have nothing in place to save off employee
burnout and that's something that I want to all to really think about it especially if you are a person in a
position that can do something about that I really want you to consider what I'm
sharing with you today as something that may be a wake up call for you and for your team all right so what is it
exactly let's go ahead and Define it because I think definitions are important burnout is a state of complete
mental physical and emotional exhaustion exhaustion of physical or
emotional strength or motivation usually is a result of prolonged stress or
frustration that's what the experience of burnout
is and when you begin to feel the effects sometimes it may start with just
you have a mental exhaustion oh my gosh the problem solving that never ends and
the phone that never stops needing you to just answer one more really quick thing anybody relat to that and it just
never stops yeah I have two phones now which is like why why do I have I
thought that that was gonna like separate something no now I just have two folks that do
that so I don't recommend that strategy at all that was big fail so let's go ahead
and and you don't have to share this publicly but maybe just like count on your fingers you know underneath the
table or something or do some ticks on a piece of paper but these are some of the
signs if you're beginning to have a sense of failure and self-doubt that is a sign of burnout
maybe feeling helpless or trapped or
defeated Detachment you're starting to feel yourself separating from the world
around you you're feeling kind of isolated sometimes we use isolate instead of
alone I think it makes us feel more empowered like I chose isolation alone
isolated of motivation you become increasingly cynical and you have a
negative outlook your co-workers or family members can tell you if this is happening to you they may be really good
at at helping you to explore that um but those are things that and I everyone on
my team knows my number one strength is positivity I for whatever reason like
everything that has happened in my entire life that has stood joy and positivity just live within me and so if
five different people come with something negative to me in a row I have like you just drained the life out of me
I'm like I gotta go to the hospital and get a transfusion because y just sck my life out of me because it was so
negative you know it's like is there any positive spin that we could put on that you know and sometimes it's just not but
that if you feel like your mindset has become increasingly more cynical or
negative that's a sign of bur out decrease satisfaction and sense of
accomplishment in this space that can be a very real
experience on a regular basis depending on what you're using to
measure um I'll let y'all do with that what you will in your own organizations but sometimes the measurements that
we're using to make us feel like we have a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction are the ones that are going
to make us feel defeated all the time time because they're the wrong measurements so think about that and
once you hit this place it takes on average three months to a year to
recover that's a long recovery time so I think avoiding burnout would be ideal so
that we don't end up in this long recovery all right let's talk about what are some of the risk factors that would
lead someone to end up being burned out first of all is heavy workload and long
work hours because of
Technology we can work 24 hours a day seven days a
week that used to not be the case as when I was a kid we had phones that plugged into the wall they didn't go
with us anywhere okay so if my office phone was at the office and I went home
it stayed there now my office phone is with me when I'm at dinner with my husband my office phone is with me when
I'm with my kids it is with me all the time so the sometimes this is
self-induced it's not necessarily that your job is requiring this of you but you are requiring this of you sometimes
we're in nonprofits that are under staff or small staff or you have one job title
but you actually have 10 functions right and so if that's the case sometimes this
is happening because of we're trying to spread ourselves across a whole thing
and it's it's not realistic for one individual and we've got to be realistic with what we're expecting of people
especially when we're dealing with the work that we're dealing with um struggle with work life balance I think we all
know what that is um you work in a helping profession sorry all of y'all are already you got one tick on a little
Mark there um you feel that you have little or no control over your work so
depending on the culture of the team that you work within if you feel like
you do not have a voice and you cannot speak up and you can't say hey uh this
is I need you to hear me on this for good reason if that isn't happening then
um you can begin to feel like a loss of control um regarding your work and then
insufficient reward I love to celebrate every small
thing again my family gets annoyed because every night at dinner I go
around and I say what's what thing you're celebrating today they're all like sometimes they're like I have
nothing to celebrate and just because I'm with guys and they don't want to and but it's still something that I do every
single night because you know what if we don't grab a hold of the small things and celebrate them if we don't
acknowledge every single time there's an opportunity knowledge a job well done
we're missing opportunities to positive people's accounts and that is it inspires people to keep doing right feed
the thing you want to see grow right so give people the uh the reward for their work absence of
fairness um this is where we got to be honest with ourselves if there is not a
fair system in place and people do not feel like things are fair they are going to it will affect them deeply and they
will begin to start holding back and start kind of retreating a bit uh it's
just it's just true and then instability in the organization when the organization
starts feeling uh like what's going on here and people are coming and going and there's a lot of you know a lot of
people going out the door and what's happening because there's turnover rate or funding issues or whatever can make
you feel like maybe this isn't so stable it can start uh beginning to affect that
that burnout as well all right so these are the consequences once you've hit it you are now at the burnout phase these
are some of the things that you're going to be experiencing on a regular basis
you're going to be experiencing excessive stress fatigue you used to be able to make it
normal work hours now you're like I need a nap right I do not have energy anymore
insomnia anybody's sleep being affected since you started working in this space
just a few uh sadness anger and irritability you just don't really have
as much grace for things like intolerance becomes a normal thing for you um you may be bur out alcohol or
substance abuse I'm gonna numb I got to figure out a way to just numb this
day vulnerability to illnesses which now your staff which is already small to
begin with is now sick way more often because of the level of burnout and then
we have when this is not tended it can result in heart disease type two diabetes and high blood pressure so this
isn't a great package I do not want to sign up for this package okay if I can
choose I don't want any of those in my life so let's try to keep from getting to that point okay so let's talk about
how we can avoid burnout in our teams first of all our team members need to feel well
supported and well resourced
if we are not giving them what they need to be successful we're creating frustration
for them and we are not going to get excellence and then you have just their
constant irritability because you haven't resourced them well to do their job well um if they do not feel
supported everyone on our team should know if something goes down I'm taking
the fall period that's just the way it goes I'm taking the fall that's what
leaders do it doesn't matter if something happened down the train three layers it doesn't matter I'm responsible
for that they have to feel supported that I'll have a conversation offline with you we'll figure out what went
wrong but in front of everyone else that's on me they have to feel Listen to If you do
not have an open door policy when we're working in this space that's a real problem
we have got to hear the hard stuff we've got to hear the feedback we have to make sure that people feel like they're being
heard because I'm not always the one in the safe house sometimes it's a volunteer
sometimes it's a lead team Advocate but I am only serving minimally now in the safe house so I better be listening to
what everyone is telling me because they're the ones that are in there and they're the ones that are getting a feel
for things and I am never going to be like well the program that I wrote should be working what are yall doing
wrong no every single past is completely different anyways we all know that so
it's not like just because you wrote a program that it's now going to just be magically working for everyone it is
just the stamp of we have a program and we're doing our best to implement it and every single time we
have to adjust it for every single woman so that's what it that's what it actually looks like and so people have
to feel like they're being hurt cared for and and valued as
individuals um so I'm going to tell you a little bit about what we do at Freedom to live in a minute but everyone should
feel like they are not just someone that is filling a slot of time in my safe house every single person should feel
like they are cared for as an individual that that is our first line of ministry is to the team itself and then to those
that we're serving they should be an extension of the care that we're providing for our
team um they should should feel like the organization prioritizes their care intentionally not
reactionary that we actually have thought about them ahead of time and have a plan for their care not like oh
you need this oh okay well let me see what I can do I'll go apply for a grant and maybe next year we'll have that for
you you know like we have to be intentional on the front end
margin I didn't even know about this word okay I had none of that in my life
at all and margin is a beautiful thing it's the white space that is actually very necessary for us good we have to
create margin in our organizations and for our employees and lastly they need
to feel like the vision doesn't require more than our actual capacity sometimes that means for
instance I had this great vision in 2019 we're gonna open a a safe house and it's
going to be 30 days and I looked around it like my eight volunteers went huh okay we're gonna
have a safe house and it's gonna be 72 hours that's actually what we do that
was real if I had launched with 30 days I would have lost everyone we would have
all probably been in group therapy for years just trying to recover okay so
sometimes the vision can be faced it can it doesn't have to go away we don't have
to have small Vision now I I'm a big Visionary but we definitely have to make sure that it fits within our actual real
istic capacity so that everyone can keep coming along with us right we don't want
to lose people along the way because we swallowed them up with this huge Vision
that they were excited about until the reality of it hit and it was like a freight train okay we cannot do that to
people that are called to to work with us in this space all right now let's talk about avoiding burn out in
ourselves how do we do that because ultimately you're respons ible for
you I'm going to do my part as a leader to try my best but I have nothing to do
with what you're doing on your off time that is up to you so number one is that
you need to have regular self- evaluations accountability outside of
work accountability is pretty much attributed to work or unless you have an addiction right that's kind of the only
place use accountability we're not holding ourselves accountable
establishing and honoring your boundaries it kind of cracks me up when
um I have conversations where people feel the need to tell me their boundary well that's has nothing to do with me
actually I have to have my own like you are responsible for your boundaries and
if you're honoring them then I can't I can't push through that because you're
not going to let me okay so if you honor and value your own boundaries
then they will be honored or you'll say I'm going to go somewhere where they will be and you will remove yourself
it's really that simple but you have to know what they are and they should be
around your values you're protecting what is valuable to you so start with
what is really valuable to me and that's what I'm going to protect and if I say
it's valuable to me but I'm not willing to protect it then is it really valuable to
me but that's to us to establish those things then we have to look at Body Soul
Spirit renewal we are three parts I can't just focus on my physical
body being healthy and strong and my soul my mind my thought life my my
emotions my relation all those things are all out of whack it doesn't matter how physically fit I am I'm still being
tormented right in my soul and then there's the spiritual wherever you are with that you still we're all Spiritual
Beings so that is a part that I'm going to tell you renewing that is going to be
really really valuable for the rest of it to flow from and that is your truest identity where everything of Life flows
from that place so we have to care for all three parts and these are the cool three
things that we have that actually fill us back up okay so we're gonna we're pouring out in this space all the time
we're pouring out so you need to have really awesome relationships that fill you back up not the ones that drain you
the ones that fill you you need to have Recreation something that is just like
when you are getting to be involved in that it is just like lifegiving for you
and rest true rest doesn't necessarily mean sleep should include it but rest
and maybe what you need rest from is the physical activity you need to let your body rest maybe what you need rest from
is decision making one day out of the week I'm going to give myself a break from making 50,000 decisions that other
people rely on me to make that's what I need rest from what do you actually need
rest from and give yourself that and then
build a life outside of work that is abundant that is exciting that you
actually want to live so that work doesn't take over everything because it's the only thing
that seems to have purpose or structure around it create your whole life outside
of that so that there's something Beyond work to be able to give yourself
to all right then we have the big reason why um all of this
is so important we are creating an environment
to bring survivors into that must feel distinctly
different from the chaotic unstable stressful environment they've left
it should feel completely
different and that doesn't happen if I'm just dist stressed and chaotic as the
individual I'm trying to serve because we feel that from each other you don't even have to say it with your words I
feel it so we can actually be the ones that
change the thermometer setting just because we're operating from a place of
homeostasis we're Opera operating from a place of stability and
safety so when they come into our environment they may not know what it is
but they know it's different and I'm not chaotic and my energy is not stressed
out and anxious I actually pretty calm and there's space for you to do whatever
you need to do and my reactions are going to be down here because that's where I'm operating from I'm not up up
here with you reacting with you right we have to model this how are they
ever going to know anything other than that if we aren't even modeling it if we're just as stressed out as they are
why do they want what we have they don't they'll be like well never mind I already know how to do this so that and I'll just go back to what I
know I love that um the the body keeps the score it's just always it's like the surval of trauma the first
thing required to begin the process of healing is a safe place and if I am
personally not a safe place then I'm not creating a safe place if our whole team
is not operating from that place we're not a safe place we may say that we are but we're not and they're not going to
be able to experience the healing so this is our strategy my goal and I came
up with this I don't know three years ago is zero turnover and zero burnout I
know that's a lofy goal but why not you know and I and I had to come to terms of
the fact that okay even Jesus who was like prob the greatest leader ever did lose
one so how do we accomplish that and I took the one I don't know it was
probably about four months it was a quarter I just took that quarter and spent time writing out whole
strategy of how to care for our Advocates how to give them ongoing
training and development and how to actually care for them as individuals and once we implemented that I think we
lost one B should move to Colorado and that's it everyone else is still a part of our team um this is going on three
years now I guess yeah three years thanks Kayla she always knows the actual things um she's my true speaker so we
began developing um and I wrote a whole book about this because if we can have
the healthiest team of Advocates on the planet then what we give the care that
we give will be excellent and 10 years from now we will all be experts because
we will have 10 years of experience working with survivors right how do you become an expert experience that's all
it means is that we have a lot of experience working with hundreds and thousands and if we keep the same people
and we're all moving forward together then I believe we're going to continue
to see a multiplication of our efforts because what we're able to offer is
going to be at a higher level so it was worth it to me to take the time to develop a whole strategy just for our
Advocates so for instance I'll just give you an example if you are a volunteer with us I'm one
of my here's one of my volunteers right here today she's here so she can bounce for this um if you serve a shift in our
safe house and you're a volunteer after your shift you're going to be contacted by one of our lead team Advocates to ask
you how your shift went is there anything that you need to kind of talk through a process and then we're going
to pray for you every single time you serve you going to have that kind of follow-up care because you matter if
you're volunteering with me I was a volunteer for four years before I got paid to do anything like if you're a volunteer you are like the heartbeat
because you're doing it for free okay so you should be honored you should be well
cared for it should be the greatest volunteer experience of your life to work with these
organizations so that's our goal is that you have individualized care we just
hosted an evening last week for all of our Advocates where we brought them together and had time of prayer and worship and minister to them because
they matter we do ongoing quarterly Funday just to go have fun together there's things that you can be doing
that that will truly be pouring life into your team and then the quality of care that they pour out there's no drop
off I promise you it doesn't matter if it's a volunteer or a lead team Advocate serving in our safe house there's no
drop off in the care that they're providing they are all trained at the same level so very easily volunteer can
become a staff member because they have all the same training as the staff does there are ways that we can resource our
volunteers and our team so that they feel very well equipped and very well supported and valued we do regular
self-care assessments on our team um how often do we do those is it every two
months every two months um because we want to make sure that we're being conscious of our own self-care and we're
going to stick with them and ask them okay so this is kind of falling off what do you want to do how do you need help is there anything we can do to support
you it's so important that everyone knows that we value their self-care we're not going to infringe on that
we're actually going to be supportive of it and then there's open communication I call it a no- shame environment if any
one of our lead team Advocates or volunteers has to say to me Carrie I can't serve right now I need a minute
we're gonna say okay we trust you you know yourself you know what's going on
what can we do for you there's no shame there is no shame that's going to enter
in on that did my timer not go off I had a timer set I'm so sorry um we're gonna
wrap it up because that's the end anyways this is what I want you to see
is that if we're keeping people at a base level they're never going to get to
creativity they're never going to be able to offer the best of what's in them if they're still in survival mode trying
to work in our organizations so thank you'all so much y'all are amazing I'm so sorry I set a timer that didn't go off