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Focusing on Well-Being

September 15, 2021 / By Lisa Verdin

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire has partnered with Well-Being Connections to create a culture of well-being for children, families and staff. Childcare has always been an important component of a healthy workforce. This past year as the pandemic took over the world, childcare became even more paramount, and childcare staff recognized for the essential role they have in our communities. Boys & Girls Clubs have for decades been attuned to the needs of children and youth. As the pandemic persisted, mental health quickly rose to the top as a significant challenge for children and families. However, the unprecedented nature of these challenging times meant that a new approach would be necessary. Partnering with Well-Being Connections has given Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire the ability to support the continued needs of children and youth while also addressing the needs of the families and staff who impact these children every day.

“As an organization we put a lot of focus on providing children the tools necessary to create great futures. These same tools are just as important for our staff who are serving as mentors, caregivers and educators,” said Rebecca Wimmer, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire’s CEO.

Well-being is a way of living that cultivates a positive mindset, a sense of purpose, and resiliency to reach optimal functioning, “said Casey Johnston, Well-Being Connections, Well-Being Coach. “Investing in people’s well-being, as a part of their professional development, creates a more positive environment for individuals of all ages within the organization.”

Over the past year Boys & Girls Club has provided staff with a tiered approach to well-being training throughout the entire organization. Focusing on providing the tools staff need for stress reduction, healthy communication and a fulfilling work-life balance. “The pandemic certainly has taken a toll on people’s mental health. We are seeing it in the children we serve and as adults we were not immune to that same stress. Everyone was affected to some degree,” said Wimmer. “Giving our staff the support necessary makes us better equipped to support our children. This is going to be ongoing work and the needs will be evolving. We’re committed to doing everything we can to make a positive impact.”

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) reported in February 2021, that many more young children had higher levels of social and emotional difficulties than expected due to the pandemic. In addition, youth programs in Sioux Falls have validated this finding in their work with children and youth. This is why, from top to bottom, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire is weaving well-being into every aspect of the organization. From meetings and curriculum to communication and education, well-being is taking a front seat as a core value and top priority.

“The benefits have been immediate in many cases and we’re excited by the momentum a well-being focus provides within our organization,” said Wimmer.