Critical training to better protect, support, and heal vulnerable children


series: CAREGIVER 101 by Steve Gross


All children need playmakers, and by playmaker I mean playmaker comes from a term that's often used in the US when they describe an athlete. An athlete who when the game is on the line, when it looks like the team might lose, when the pressure's on, they want to have the ball in the hands of their playmaker. Because their playmaker is the person who can make something good happen. They can save the game.

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Now in sports playmakers are important, but in life playmakers are so much more important. So we think of a playmaker that for a child when they are at a pivotal time in their life, when life is overwhelmingly difficult and they're struggling and everything looks bleak, a playmaker comes into a child's life and makes a life changing difference. A positive life changing difference. That playmaker comes in and helps that child see the goodness and strengthen themselves. That playmaker comes in and helps that child see the goodness and strength and value of others and also allows that child to see the goodness and the opportunity in the world around them.

Now, playmakers don't ignore the struggle, the hardship, the obstacles, but instead they make sure that those struggles, those hardships and obstacles don't blind children from the goodness and opportunity that is there. That is inherent in them, in their peers and in the world around them.


Steve Gross

Steve Gross, M.S.W., is the founder and chief playmaker of the Life is Good Kids Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to spread the power of optimism to help kids heal. The foundation partners with leading childcare organizations to strengthen theircapacity to build healing,...

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life-changing relationships with the children in their care.

Steve’s teachings have been utilized across the country and throughout the world in response to the social and emotional needs of communities deeply impacted by poverty, violence and illness. Steve helps others discover their own sense of optimism so that they can inspire the people around them to focus on the good and overcome life’s most difficult challenges.


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