What’s Culture Got to Do With It? Everything, with Maegan Rides At The Door, Ph.D., LCPC

Season 3Episode 14October 8, 2021

For Native American and Alaska Native children and families, how do we craft culturally responsive child welfare and child protection services?

Our guest today is Dr. Maegan Rides At The Door, the director of the National Native Children’s Trauma Center at the University of Montana. Now, many of us know at least some of the historical trauma faced by Native Americans and Alaska Native families, not just the genocide of the past, but also the boarding school abuses of the very recent past.

How does this impact children today? And how does racism, which is very much in the present, add to the trauma burden these children face? And how do we appreciate and recognize and leverage the incredible strengths and resiliency displayed by Native families multigenerationally? Most importantly, how do we craft culturally responsive services, not just in word and good intention, but in actuality, indeed?

Topics in this episode:

  • Child welfare needs to be culturally responsive (2:09)
  • Historical trauma and structural racism (5:47)
  • Cultural resiliency (11:44)
  • Expanding the original ACEs (17:07)
  • Recommendations (19:24)
  • Public policy (25:32)
  • Culture eats strategy for lunch (28:24)
  • Advice for CACs (35:30)
  • Share this episode! (39:05)



Maegan Rides At The Door, Ph.D., LCPC, is director of the National Native Children’s Trauma Center at the University of Montana College of Education. She is an enrolled member of the Assiniboine-Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation and a descendant of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

The NNCTC offers a number of resources on trauma.

Meagan Rides At The Door and Ashley Trautman. 2019. “Considerations for Implementing Culturally Grounded Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Services: Recommendations for Working with American Indian/Alaska Native Populations.” Journal of Public Child Welfare 13 (3): 368–78. doi:10.1080/15548732.2019.1605014.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) original study

RYSE Center

[Final transcript edits in progress. This note will be removed when all edits are complete.]

Season 3, Episode 14

[Intro music]


[00:10] Teresa Huizar:
Hi, I’m Teresa Huizar, your host of One in Ten. In today’s episode, “What’s Culture Got to Do With It? Everything,” I speak with Megan Rides At The Door, the director of the National Native Children’s Trauma Center at the University of Montana.

Now, many of us know at least some of the historical trauma faced by Native Americans and Alaska Native families. Not just the genocide of the past but also the boarding school abuses of the very recent past.

How does this impact children today? And how does racism, which is very much in the present, add to the trauma burden these children face? And how do we appreciate and recognize and leverage the incredible strengths and resiliency displayed by Native families multi-generationally? Most importantly, how do we craft culturally responsive services? Not just in word and good intention but in actuality, indeed. I know you’ll enjoy this thought-provoking conversation as much as I did. Take a listen.

[01:18] Teresa Huizar:
Maegan, thanks for joining us on One in Ten.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Thank you for having me.

Teresa Huizar:
So I’m going to start this conversation where I start every one of these. And that is to ask you how you really came to this work, the work sort of the intersection of child trauma and working with kids in Alaska Native and Native American communities?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Yeah. I really came to this work just starting out as a youth shelter worker and then working in various child-serving agencies. Seeing the needs that are really central and foundational, which is all trauma. I mean, trauma is the most foundational issues that affect a lot of children, various types of traumas, and is co-occurring with a lot of other difficulties that children face.

[02:09] Teresa Huizar:
So one of the things that I want to sort of dig into in this conversation, is sort of a seminal paper that you wrote on culturally responsive practices in child welfare. And I just would like you to sort of reflect back on that writing. It’s now been a couple of years, but I think it’s really continuing important work.

And when you think about that, I’m interested in what brought you to write the paper, but also just sort of, what do you think we’re doing wrong that really sort of galvanized you to feel that this is something that you wanted to talk about?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Yeah, I think that child welfare, the system and the way that it operates, wasn’t developed specifically for tribal communities.

Teresa Huizar:

Maegan Rides At The Door:
So we’re always looking at how can then this system be able to better serve American Indian and Alaska Native populations. And so in providing the paper, it was really about giving some broader considerations for merging all these things that we know could better serve Native youth, children, and families. But also really looking at how that folds in with being trauma-responsive in the work that we do.

[03:23] Teresa Huizar:
When we say terms like “trauma” or “trauma-informed” or however we want to use it, we talk about these as though they’re monolithic things. And I really appreciated that you put it out in your paper, that our understanding of trauma, our experiencing of it, the way that trauma symptoms may manifest, that there’s a cultural component of that. That it’s influenced by culture. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Sure. I think that we would all agree that trauma is trauma. But I think the difference is really: How do people perceive trauma potentially differently? And how do they express pain and symptoms of trauma relative to cultural norms? Or any emotion, really. If not pain or anger or—

Teresa Huizar:
Grief, sadness, any of those things.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
—grief, sadness, hypervigilance. What does that look like across cultures?

And so just keeping in mind that that may look different as well as, then, how do we go about healing from those things? Are there different perspectives in how we go about and do that?

[04:41] Teresa Huizar:
So can you provide me an example? You know, I’m just trying to think for our audience who may— this may be turning on a light bulb for the first time to go, “Ah!” You know, what would it be like in terms of say hypervigilance, which is a trauma symptom generally? How might that manifest itself differently with Alaska Native or Native American children?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Sure. Yeah. If you have a culture that it’s a cultural norm or it has become a cultural norm to not express emotions outwardly, then what you might see is, you might not see people outwardly displaying behaviors as being on edge. One could be sitting there, still. Yet if you were to monitor their heart rate and other stress response functions, they might be high. Even though outwardly, they may not appear to be hypervigilant.

[00:05:47] Teresa Huizar:
It’s so interesting that you say this because I think sometimes about, so what does that mean also for things like trauma assessment, you know, and whether the tools we’re using, would they pick up on some difference like that? Or would the person who’s conducting the trauma assessment potentially, you know, view this sort of as maybe a flat affect or not displaying hypervigilance or other kinds of things?

So I think you bring up a really fine point, especially when we’re talking about things that might serve as gateways to support and treatment, you know, that we’re being really careful not to sort of draw wrong conclusions from what we’re seeing, just because we’re ignorant about cultural factors that are very present in the lives of kids and families.

You know, one of the other things that I’m wondering about. You know, you talk a little bit in the paper more—well, more than a little bit—about this sort of interplay between some things that are not the same but have a relationship to each other in terms of historical trauma and also structural racism. And then the trauma of whatever somebody has experienced, let’s say from abuse in that, in the case of child abuse. And when I was reading, uou know, for me, that’s such an interesting point you’re making about the difference between historical trauma and structural racism. So I want to ask you to explain that a little bit to the audience.

But the other thing that I want to talk about is sort of” what does it mean when somebody experiences this sort of cocktail of trauma and their trauma burden is really quite heavy because they’ve experienced these multiple forms? What does that mean for them?

So, first of all, can we just start with: What is the difference between historical trauma and structural racism or systemic racism?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Well, historical trauma is really the cumulative comprehensive affects from events that have happened in the past and have affected and continue to affect future generations. And that these these events are not historical in the sense that they can’t get over it or that we can’t get over that. That’s—it’s not as simple as that. But that these have longer lasting effects. And when people talk about historical trauma as being something that shared with people, sharing the same ethnic identity, these events often involve genocide or ethnicized particularly. And that these events have affected the group in that way.

And I would say that structural racism can certainly be rooted within that, you know, from these historical traumas. Structural racism really is something that’s specific in how it plays out today within organizations, within the structures that now exist to specifically discriminate. And that racism is in and of itself another type of trauma, you know. Race-based traumatic stress is a real thing that people experience.

[00:09:10] Teresa Huizar:
You know, on the podcast before we’ve taught to others about racial trauma. And I think that it’s such an important point that it’s not just something that happens to you, that it causes real harm and is a form of trauma and can cause trauma symptoms like other things that we’re familiar with. And I think that that growing awareness is a good thing.

But I’m thinking about kids who may have this, this burden of both historical trauma and they’re facing present-day racism and racial trauma. And also they’ve been abused, you know. And in many cases, when we look at complex trauma, we think about it and sort of like, well, it’s a combination of things like DV [domestic violence], maybe, and child abuse. And I don’t know, we’d come up with something else. I’m not sure that people have always thought about it like this constellation of it.

And I’m wondering if you—what you think it means for kids and families as they’re struggling with, you know, this mix that you’re talking about and the additional burden that they face? Because it’s not only the issue that may bring them to the attention of child protective services but it’s all these contextual factors that are equally important.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Yeah. Before talking about that, I would say on an individual level, there are those who don’t want to take on the pathology of historical trauma. You know, that this concept of historical trauma is pathologizing to a group of people. And on an individual level, people tend to not want to think of themselves as starting from this place and rather think about the resilience that has been passed down as well. And so I think for the most part, when you ask individuals, are they thinking that historical trauma is affecting them right now with what they’re experiencing, you may get very, very different answers about that on an individual level.

But I think on a community-wide level, most people would agree that it has affected the community and families in broader ways. So that’s kind of where I was going with, you know, just differentiating between individual perspectives about that versus its effects on the community.

[11:44] Teresa Huizar:
Well, and I think it’s interesting as well that people view it as pathologizing, you know, especially, you know, if I suffer a trauma, if someone wrongs me and I’m traumatized by it, I think for other sorts of things, you know, one of the things we tried to move away from is idea that, of blaming the victim for that, or making it about some deficit on their part.

And so this feels sort of like another way in which maybe we’re victimizing a group of people. If we’re making anyone feel that there’s something—what, what word am I even looking for?—damaged beyond repair, or something like that, by the fact that they’ve experienced, you know, terrible things essentially at our own hands or those of our own ancestors. You know, I think that’s a troubling, you know, of troubling by-product of our troubled history, basically.

One of the things that I want to get to, because again, I appreciate your writings on this, and you kind of alluded to it in your last comment, which was: You know, often when we think about historical trauma, we also don’t think about the flip side of that, which is generational resiliency. And I think that that is a really interesting notion.

We’ve had lots of folks come onto the podcast and talk about various aspects of resiliency, but I don’t know that that’s one of them that we’ve heard much about yet. Can you talk a little bit about that? This idea of people passing down resiliency,

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Certainly. And that can also be community when we think about generational resiliency. It could be on all those levels as well, individual, family, and community. Like for families, you know what? Familial things have continued to provide resilience to the community, to the person within that family. And that these are all connected, of course. But that it’s important to look at how does one frame their resilience in the context of other people’s healing.

And I think that has been helpful for individuals to think about in their own healing is, when they’re healing themselves, they’re also healing the next generation. So it’s having that perspective on things that really you’re doing this and looking at the strength that prior generations have been able to go through.

You can really think about the struggles, the hardships, the trauma that prior generations have gone through. And you can think about, wow, what incredible strengths that have been able to enter during that time. And that those things can be passed on to the next generation. Thinking about where you come from and that lineage can be really reenergizing and really healing for people to think that this is something that can fuel that.

One of my colleagues talks about a specific example where a man was in recovery. And he said, one of the greatest things that anyone ever said to him was, “You know who your ancestors are. I know who they are.” And you know, an older person had said, “I know who your ancestors are. They went through this particular historical trauma, and that’s the same blood that runs through your veins.  And that you’re part of this, you’re part of this—that strength.” And so, you know, it can really give people a lot of healing.

[15:11] Teresa Huizar:
Well, one of the things that I’m thinking about as you’re talking is this multi-generational thinking, which is so important and such a part of work with families, even if we’re not thinking about it. But being intentional about it is a whole other thing that I think is very positive.

But the other thing that I was thinking of as you were talking is, you know, I’ve looked at a lot of intake forms. Listened to a lot of intakes, for that matter. And I can’t think of a single instance, right, or ever heard anyone ask the question of: What are strengths that you think were passed down in your family?

I mean, that’s a powerful question to ask somebody, and it’s making me think, why don’t we routinely ask that question? Because it’s such an important one. How did you come to think about that?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Well, I think it’s an important one when we’re often, we’re referring people, it’s usually because of some issue or problem that they’re needing support with. We’re often talking about their symptoms or what’s going wrong in their lives. And to also focus on what’s going right and what’s sustained them so far, really can reinforce what they are doing and what they have been doing. The things that they’ve found to be helpful so far, it can help really strengthen and also put their mind on those things as well.

And not just in intake but also even when referring people. You know, thinking about when someone else’s referring and asking the referring person, “Is there a strength that you can share about this person or this family?” So that when you’re with them for the first time, we can say, “So-and-so referred you to here, and this is what they said about what incredible strengths that you share. Would you say that’s right?” And just so that they know that other people are sharing good things, good strengths about them as well.

[17:07] Teresa Huizar:
CACs, if you’re listening, I hope you’re taking fine notes on this part, because I think this is just so valuable.

And when you think about how that changes the tone of your interaction with somebody to note from the outset a strength that somebody has told you about them. I mean, that’s powerful in terms of building rapport with them and making them feel that your, you know, your intervention, isn’t just intended to be helpful but actually can be helpful, you know. But it’s beyond just having good intentions about that, but that, you know, that they’re coming, but strengths too.

I want to turn for a moment to ACEs, which has gotten a lot of attention, you know. And I think one of the positive things that it has done has been to bring awareness to the, sort of the, you know, the general public in terms of their understanding that trauma can have lifelong impacts. You know, again, we’ve talked to lots of folks about ACEs over time and its weaknesses, its strengths, you know, all kinds of aspects of it.

But one of the things that I appreciated about your article was it talked about sort of expanding the pyramid a little bit to consider some things that may be outside of the original sort of ACEs paradigm. And I don’t want to steal your thunder on this. You’re going to definitely explain it better than I will. So can you just talk a little bit about this idea of expanding the ACEs period?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Sure. Well, it’s from the RYSE Center has really put out this, so it’s not my triangle. I can’t take credit for that. Yeah, they’ve expanded the triangle to look at historical and intergenerational trauma as foundational even before adverse childhood experiences. That oftentimes we’re dealing with some of the same family. And that can be intergenerational. And that some of these adverse childhood experiences do stem from ongoing historical trauma. and also adding those social conditions such as poverty that then can put people at more at risk for adverse childhood experiences. So it’s really looking at even those roots prior to adverse childhood experiences.

[19:24] Teresa Huizar:
That’s such an important nuance, I think, to our thinking about the conditions that kids come into the world with and the challenges they face and what that means into adulthood.

Now, I want to turn to your own recommendations, which I thought were quite interesting.

They were geared toward the child welfare system, but I think many of them have parallel in our world with Children’s Advocacy Centers and multidisciplinary teams and other child abuse professions. There were 10 different domains that you looked at to sort of parse out varying recommendations. And I don’t know if we’re going to have time to go over all 10, but I want to start by just saying you’ve had a couple of years to reflect on this since you sort of spelled out your recommendations. And before we dive into each and every one of those, when you reflect back, are there some that you feel more hopeful about? That you feel, you know, there’s been change either at the federal level or at state level, or maybe uptake in conversations that you’ve seen among child welfare professionals that you would point to, and you would say—you know, I mean, two years is not that long to make any sort of enormous progress—but you go, “You know, I’m feeling really hopeful that people are paying attention more to this than perhaps they were before.”

Maegan Rides At The Door:
The trauma-informed movement has certainly become more widespread and I think that that’s something that’s been really helpful to think about, to learn about. I think primarily what we’re seeing in that people are becoming more aware of what having a trauma lens really means and how to apply it in various situations.

I mean, I think that’s broadly what we hope for across many of the things that agencies do that reverberates out. That’s really what we would hope for is once people do have a lens, so to speak. Then they can operate in all these various ways, much more easily, and towards the same goal. So I think that that’s kind of the main effort that everybody’s trying to build up and go toward is how do we have this lens?

And then, you know, the lenses of course, shifting from not what’s wrong with you, but what’s happened to you? But really reverberating that out to not what’s wrong with this parent, but what’s happened to this parent? To not what’s wrong with this community—how come there’s so many disparities and disproportionality—but it’s really, what’s happened to this community?

It’s really taking that lens and being able to apply it throughout one’s work. And even in self-reflection. And I think that that’s a foundational thing to provide for people. Because one can receive some trauma knowledge, but they may not have the lens in which to operate and change their behavior and be able to apply it in their practice in various ways.

[00:22:37] Teresa Huizar:
Yeah, that’s a really interesting point you’re making that knowing about trauma is not really enough. It’s the application of that knowledge using a trauma lens. That really makes a difference for kids and families. And I think the other points that you’ve made are also around cultural responsiveness and how that intersects with a trauma lens and not sort of assuming that we know certain things, but, you know, as a matter of cultural humility, really being willing to ask questions. Really being willing to listen, being willing to learn all of those things so that we’re not misapplying interventions too.

So I want to walk through it a little bit of some of the recommendations that you made in your paper. Because I think some of these have application to our work.

And so one of them had to do with governance and leadership and how that may be different in tribal communities. And things that people need to pay attention to that some of your recommendations sort of have around really recognizing sovereignty is I guess what I would tie it back to understanding that structures may be different, other kinds of things, but understanding that autonomy and other things that come with sovereignty as a part of that, which wants to talk a little bit about what that means for professionals who are intersecting with tribal communities.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Sure. Yeah. I think that that’s another thing to recognize is, unlike other minority groups within the nation, tribes are sovereign with a government to government relationship with the United States government. And they do have the power to exercise sovereignty. And when you think about historically tribes have not had decision-making power to be able to determine how they go about healing in their own communities. Because a lot of the various systems are sometimes run by the government or funded through these different streams or there are limitations on what they can provide.

And so as they strive for more tribal sovereignty into the future, you know, being able to recognize that they do have their own governing structure with their own tribal code that outlines their own law. And that acknowledging and really honoring that sovereignty is healing in and of itself. It’s part of that trauma-responsive element of empowerment, voice. and choice.

Going beyond simply engagement to really driven by the community in these ways. And so the process in and of itself becomes healing, not just the outcome.

[00:25:32] Teresa Huizar:
I imagine builds trust too, you know. Because there’s lots of reasons, historical reasons for mistrust, for sure.

You know, you also talked about policy. and I thought that was a sort of interesting section because I think sometimes when we’re thinking about interacting with kids and families, we’re thinking about the kid and family in front of us, we’re not necessarily thinking about the larger sort of policy implications around cultural responsiveness and in trauma-informed care. Can you talk a little bit about, if you could wave a magic wand and have, you know, three policy wishes, really some change that would make a difference in the lives of kids and families, particularly Native American and Alaska Native ones, what would you love to see?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Yeah, that’s a really great question in terms of on an organizational level.

Teresa Huizar:
Oh, it can be that, it could be federal policy. You just pick whatever. You have the magic wand, you can pick your wishes.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Yeah. Because it would vary depending on the level that we’re talking.

Teresa Huizar:
Yeah. But feel free to explore it.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Yeah. I think there’s all kinds of opportunity to collaborate. For systems to collaborate more with the community. Again, being able to co-create, right. That part kind of weaves in and molds into to the governance discussion we had, but it’s really about what are we doing and really reevaluating is what we are doing working? You know, policy and then of itself sometimes doesn’t drive change alone. It’s true. It’s sometimes really about our procedure and how we go about that. You know, policy is easy to change. It’s really easy to go through an organization’s policies and review it and say, “These are some changes that could be made, or you might adopt a new policy on this and go at it at that way.”

But you might miss things just going that route. Of course, that’s an important piece about this, is really sustaining things and documenting it and has short part of the work that we’re doing. But you know, it really is: What are our procedures and how we operate? Because if it’s mandated through policy, we’ve found that sometimes procedurally it’s not carried out in a trauma-informed wau.

Teresa Huizar:
Which then undermines the policy.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Which undermines the policy. So you have to be very careful about how we even go about recreating policies.

[00:28:27] Teresa Huizar:
I’m thinking about that quote. And I don’t know who said it the first time, but they said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch every day of the week.” And I think there’s so much true about that, that when you’re trying to change something in an organization, you have to look at the organization—not just their rules, but their culture and how you change that if you really want to make a difference.

To your point about what are the procedures say that we do and how are people carrying those out? Not just, what does the policy say that we’re doing about these things? So that’s interesting.

So turning to that sort of next level of federal policy, you know, again, you still have a wish or two left. So what is it that you would say in a perfect world, you know: This is what we’d like to see.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Yeah. I think primarily our current systems are really relying upon our mental health professionals a lot in tribal communities that are particularly rural. There are very few mental health professionals usually, and there can be turnover within those positions as well.

And so then it becomes very difficult to bring, and to have our mental health therapists be able to deliver these trauma treatments that we would like to train them in and be able to deliver and to have as a resource. And so I think if we can wave the magic wand and have more mental health professionals, then we definitely need a wider, more comprehensive system of care. Realize not just on mental health, but other people within the community as well, to be able to provide some of the same support outside of processing. Of course, we’re not going to ask other people to process trauma, but to be able to provide psycho-education about trauma, to be able to provide relaxation, and be able to help others improve self-regulation to be able to combat irrational thinking, these maladaptive thinking patterns.

You know, to all of these things, to be able to develop coping skills and know that there’s a lot of people who can contribute to healing within our communities. And that doesn’t have to rely on a mental health professional. And also be able to provide a better coordinate with our traditional healers who are already within the community.

And I know there’s already been some innovations within that work in some communities. So really just utilizing who we have, what we have, you know, because it’s like, who’s the trauma team, right? It’s like really everyone, everyone is, right. We’re all working together to prevent, to heal from, to continue to support people even after someone has experienced something. There’s a lot of need.

[31:40] Teresa Huizar:
There is indeed. And I think to your point too, that when we use the word “healing,” we’re heaping an awful lot of expectation on the part of mental health. If we’re expecting them to carry the entirety of a person’s healing. You know, people are multifaceted and it’s not just a matter of the reduction of their trauma symptoms. It’s the relationship with their families. It’s their spiritual life, if they have spiritual beliefs. It’s all of those things. It’s their physical health and all of that. So trying to make a clinician responsible for a hundred percent of that is probably a little much.

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Or for anyone. And I think that that’s really what our center has been talking about more and more recently.

What does the other side, the resiliency pyramid look like in direct relation to ACEs? There’s positive childhood experiences, family experiences, community experiences. There’s historical and intergenerational healing. There’s providing corrective experiences. There’s other lifting those social conditions like combating the poverty and low employment rate in these communities. All those things uplift and our indirect response to the pyramid.

This is the other side of what we’re trying to do collectively looking at it from that broader perspective.

[33:11] Teresa Huizar:
I love this. I want that infographic. So when you’re all done with your work on that, send us that because we want to share it on social media, along with you. Because I think that, you know, it’s the missing piece of the conversation often is people are not just a combination of every bad thing that ever happened to them. They’re also a combination of every good thing and all the strengths that they draw from their community and their families and friends and experiences and all of those things.

I’m just wondering, what are you optimistic about when you think about this area that you’ve been working in and publishing in, and now you’re partnering with us on some projects. And what makes you feel hopeful about all of this? Because I think sometimes when we talk about trauma, that becomes very heavy. But what do you feel optimistic about?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
I feel optimistic that we’re getting ahead of things. You know, trauma, like I said. is getting more well-known. We’re not educating people after the fact, after they’re in their positions, about trauma. A lot more professionals are getting exposure to trauma while they’re preparing for their profession. Which is again, getting us all to a better place to recognize the impact and then be able to respond to trauma in these ways. And so I think that’s hopeful. I think again, the more people who have this lens, we’re better able to work together in really innovative ways. And I think that we are in an era to be able to integrate and be able to employ it. We already know a lot of things work, which is nice.

We know that we can reduce trauma symptoms. We know that we can provide healing. We know we can do that in various ways. So these are hopeful things, you know, people can heal from trauma. That’s something that’s. A helpful perspective to think about. There are a lot of people who’ve experienced trauma who have found healing and continued to live and thrive within their life.

And that resilience can be built and maintained.

[00:35:30] Teresa Huizar:
I just love that because I think that this point that, you know, resiliency is a muscle you can exercise. You know, it’s not just something where you go, “Well, either a person has it or they don’t,” you know. It’s something that can be taught. All of those things.

I just love that because it’s like, first of all, it gives us a job to do with the kids and families that we’re working with. But also I think it’s—again, back to the strengths-based mindset and not just sort of wallowing in, you know, a sort of deficit thinking about this, I think is good.

You know, you’ve been working with CACs for some time but also more recently with our grantee projects for which we’re very grateful. And I’m just wondering, you know, there are CAC directors too, listening to this. Do you have any particular advice for them?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Hmm, that’s a good question. Well, I feel like I know how difficult job it is to direct a CAC. There’s just so many responsibilities. There’s so many things to respond to. Unpredictable events really can be challenging in and of itself.

And so I think that sometimes it can feel very difficult to stop, prepare, and go about this work in a really meaningful, intentional way all of the time when you’re in this mode—what I would say it’s kind of like a crisis mode, right?—all the time responding and not able to always take the time to rejuvenate and heal first of all.

But then also on top of that, continue to expand in all these other ways and grow. And so I recognize the challenge in that upfront. So I would say that I know that that’s where you are and I would still find ways for you all to be able to debrief, to heal. And to take time to think about other growing innovating in new ways. Because you’re going to find something that works and that you’re not going to be able to do that if we don’t try new things, if we don’t try to help the field out, you know. We’ve got to move in that direction when we can. And we may not always be able to do that all the time, but when we can, right, when we can really get to this point, we can see that it can affect and help a lot of people. Not just the people we’re serving, but other CACs as well.

[38:11] Teresa Huizar:
So I’m just wondering, Maegan, is there anything that I didn’t ask you today that you wanted to talk about? Or just anything that you wanted to cover that I didn’t get to?

Maegan Rides At The Door:
Well, I think that we’re just in a great position to continue to work together, to innovate and be able to provide healing for children, families, and communities. That we got to maintain hope for each other. And it’s very easy to become frustrated at times, especially when working across systems. So we have to maintain the hope that we can continue to improve these systems and be able to continue to do that for the betterment of those that we serve.

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[38:57] Teresa Huizar:
Well, thank you so much for joining us today and for your continued partnership.

We so appreciate you.

Maegan Rides At The Door: Thank you.


[39:05] Teresa Huizar:
Thank you for listening to One in Ten. If you like this episode, please share it with a friend or two—or three. And for more information about this episode or any others, please visit our podcast website at OneInTenPodcast.org.

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