Staff Spotlight: Kathy King
Kathy King has been with The Villages for over 15 years! Kathy is the Administrative Assistant for Prevent Child Abuse Indiana (PCAI), a Division of The Villages, but has served in a couple of different roles during her tenure with the organization. Most recently, Kathy has added another “job” to her resume…CHAIRish the Children Guest Artist. Learn more about Kathy, how she got involved with The Villages and how she hopes her Pinwheel chair will help raise money for the kids and families she works with every day!
The Villages: Why did you choose a career in child welfare?
Kathy: I began my career in the child welfare area actually by chance. I had worked in a factory in Missouri for 12 years and it closed down due to the large amount of imports. I decided to go back to school at the area career center and took a 9 month course in Secretarial Training. As part of the class we had to do an internship in an office. I was interviewed and started my internship at Butterfield Youth Services, a nonprofit therapeutic group home agency in Missouri. At the end of my internship one of the secretaries retired and they hired me as the Secretary to the Executive Director. I was apprehensive about working there because when I was in high school I had grown up with some of the kids that had to live in these group homes. But after I started doing my internship and then hired, I realized what a lot of these children had gone through and why they had the behaviors they had. It made me what to help in any way I could.
When I moved to Indianapolis in 1998 and applied at a temp agency. They told me about the job as an administrative assistant at The Villages. After several interviews, I was hired as an Administrative Assistant with the Indianapolis Region Villages’ Office on Girls School Road. I worked with the Region for a little over 9 years, then when Prevent Child Abuse Indiana & The Villages merged back in 2007, I transferred to the PCAIN office on the west side of Indianapolis since it was closer to my home.
Even though I don’t have direct contact with the children, I enjoy knowing that these children are in great hands with their Villages foster/adoptive parents. At PCAIN we work a lot of exhibits at conferences and family events, and to be able to pass on information about preventing child abuse/neglect and how to be a better parent makes me feel like I’m doing a small part to help a child.
The Villages: Please share one inspiring experience you had in the last year?
Kathy: Each year PCAIN has a “Breaking the Cycle” conference in April. Back in 2011, Actress & Author Patty Duke was the featured evening speaker and I got to work with her. She is such darling lady to work with but also an inspiration for everyone, not only to parents but anyone in the child welfare arena.
The Villages: What can the community do to help you, and The Villages, better serve vulnerable children and families?
Kathy: As for vulnerable children & families – Parenting is the toughest job any of us will ever undertake — Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help if they are feeling overwhelmed. For the community – Anything you can do to support kids and parents in your family and extended community helps to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. Offer extra support to families when they need it, as in times of illness, job loss, housing problems and other stressors.
The Villages: What is your wish for The Villages and/or the children you work with?
Kathy: If child abuse and neglect was “prevented”, we would not have the need for foster care in this world. Every child deserves and is entitled to live a life without fear of being abused or neglected.
Since its inception, Kathy has helped with The Villages’ CHAIRish the Children event. She’s assisted Villages’ staff and CHAIRish committee members with many different jobs from ticket sales to guest registration. This year, she participated in the event in a new way…by painting a chair. Kathy drew inspiration from the Child Abuse Prevention symbol, the Blue Pinwheel, for her chair’s theme. The “Pinwheel Chair” will be auctioned off in an online and live event auction on November 8th, and the money raised from the sale of all of the CHAIRish the Children chairs will be used to help The Villages enrich the lives of the children and families we serve.
The Villages: Why did you decide to paint a chair for CHAIRish the Children?
Kathy: Watching the beautiful chairs being brought to the office every year, I felt we needed a Pinwheel inspired chair to represent PCAIN.
The Villages: What was the inspiration for your chair’s design?
Kathy: The pinwheel and inspirational words every child should have in their life.