CCS Direct Care Professionals (DCPs) were feeling the love on Wednesday, June 22 at the annual DCP Retreat at Cascade Hall at the fairgrounds.

CCS DCPs from all counties attended the event with the goal of enhancing relationships among all direct care staff, who are called to form a safe, stable support system for each other and for the residents and families we serve. The retreat was a day to relax, to connect and to be recognized for the hard and critically important work they do.

The day started with a modified community meeting, each person introduced themselves and shared how long they have worked at CCS and at which home they work.

Attendees played “get to know you bingo” during which they filled in bingo cards with squares that contained different statements, such as “find someone who can wiggle their ears,” or “find someone who was born outside of the United States.” The first five people to get a “blackout” received a prize. The group participated in several other group activities and ice-breakers, had opportunities for chair massages and to win prizes throughout the day which ended by sharing a meal together.

Rick Newton, resident Sanctuary and Flourish Together Advanced Course guru, gave a presentation about the history and future of individuals with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities. He spoke about the importance of the work of Direct Care Professionals. “While it can be challenging and sometimes sad,” he said, “there is so much beauty in it.” He asked each person to share with their table a moment of beauty they have witnessed while working as a Direct Care Professional with CCS.

“I have witnessed so many moments of beauty since I started working here,” said Southern Regional Director Dotty Cramer. “I would say my most memorable moments have been seeing staff care for individuals in all stages of their lives,” she said. “I had never witnessed someone passing away, and it is quite an emotional experience. The staff’s tenderness, strength and care for the individuals never falters.”

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