by: Bethany Cleghorne

On December 31st, 2019, many of us gathered on New Year’s Eve with friends, family and others to celebrate the year and the next one to come. As we took the time to clink our glasses with one another, the clock struck midnight and we began to think about our dreams, goals, and excitement for 2020. Where would we go on new adventures? What opportunities would arise?

I’m sure none of us expected in our wildest dreams, that we would ever be living through a pandemic. While saying or signing “Happy New Year” to our loved ones, we had no idea that soon enough, the COVID-19 pandemic would change everything – including the impact it would have on the clients we work with.

The virus, affecting millions worldwide, brought a new set of challenges that could only have been imagined in a post-apocalyptic movie. As intervenors, during the early stages of quarantine, we shared the same fears and uncertainties as the clients we worked with.

When will it be safe to go out? When will my schedule return to normal? And more importantly…when will I be able to walk into a grocery store and find toilet paper?!

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been an extremely difficult situation to navigate through, there has been one truly positive experience that has come with it. Our strength through the chaos.

DBCS has become a group that has risen from the shadows of isolation. In the Toronto-GTA region I have witnessed our team provide amazing levels of support to other co-workers with regular team meetings, mental health chats, “fun” Fridays, ASL practice zoom meetings, passionate discussions on how to best support our clients, and projects that we could work on to improve DBCS collectively.

As essential workers, we have maintained our dedication to DBCS clients by continuing to provide quality intervention. While on a 1:1 call with a co-worker, we shared a special moment together. They confided in me, saying, “I have worked at this organization for over 10 years and never have I ever felt more connected to this team and my job until now.” The power of support, communication and encouragement has built our organization into one filled with strength like we’ve never seen before.

Although there have been moments of frustration and worry, one thing is for sure: DBCS is a team that is resilient, strong, and powerful. We are persevering through one of the hardest things we’ve gone through and I believe we will come out stronger than we have ever been.

I want to thank our management team for their unwavering support and leave you all with this thought: life in this field will sometimes have its ups and downs, but there is nothing we can’t face and overcome as long as we face it together as a team.