Name: Charmaine Tidmarsh
Job Title: Assistant Director, Child Development
Years Working at Mother’s Choice: 10
(1) What made you decide to continue your education?
In my ten years working at Mothers Choice, I found that the more experience I gained, the more questions I had about how and why young children develop as they do. I wanted to better understand the complex mechanism of a young child’s mind so that we can design programs that aid and accelerate their mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Earning a master’s degree in Early Childhood with emphasis on infant mental health has been a tremendous asset in ensuring we offer the best care possible to our children. My research on infant mental health and disruptive behavior has greatly expanded and contributed to my knowledge in how to ensure a child’s welfare in an out-of-home care setting. Infant mental health is an area of academic study that is often overlooked and underemphasized, despite it being incredibly valuable in setting the foundation for a child.
(2) How do you think your clients & staff benefited from your new knowledge?
To help each a child reach their full potential, my staff and I must be fully aware of how a child’s cognition works. An important effect of my research was finding evidence to dispel myths and clear up any confusion about the impact of a child’s upbringing on their temperament and behavioral tendencies.
By cultivating a more thorough insight into the intellectual inner workings of a child’s mind, we at Mother’s Choice can take effective action that is centered on the child’s needs. When a child exhibits disruptive behavior, our first thought is not “how do we fix this?”, but rather “what is the behavior telling me?”. Only by viewing children through this lens can we help them to reach their full potential. Our staff are now enabled to make more informed choices when caring for these vulnerable children and has likewise allowed us, as an organization, to better guide caregivers in supporting children in the care system.
(3) What do you love about working for Mother’s Choice?
Working for Mother’s Choice is something I’m very proud of for an array of reasons. I truly feel that we have a unique sense of community and heart that is reflected in all of the work that we do and the camaraderie that we have built between staff and clients.
At Mother’s Choice, we care very deeply about the vulnerable children, young mums and their families. This is why we are not afraid to think outside of the box and go to great lengths to brainstorm numerous ways to help our clients as best as possible. Our staff is very diverse, which influences our approach to our clientele by making us well-rounded, considerate and multi-faceted. We encourage open communication and creativity, and constantly share our minds and work to solutions together as a team.
As a charity, we wholeheartedly believe that the parent-child connection is the most powerful mental health intervention known to mankind; that is why we collectively strive for every child to belong in a family. This single, complete dedication to see every child in a forever home is really what I love about working here.