Pathway Caring for Children’s 7 Ideals

  • February 1st, 2023
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

Read on for Jim Bridge’s mission upon starting this agency in 1973. Jim passed in 2009, but Velma Bridges remains here on staff at Pathway. This is the foundation of what we do, and while they have evolved over the years we still seek to incorporate these seven values into our everyday work.

Jim Bridges shared, “This mission of my life is to actualize the following ideals in my day-to-day interaction with myself, my family, the children who come to Pathway, the staff who work at Pathway, my church, and my friends. I like the word “ideals” because I think often of what someone once said, “Ideals are like stars—we never reach them but we guide our course with them.” We strive to make these concepts real in the lives of the children and families with whom we work. Sometimes we succeed in doing so, and sometimes we fail. When we fail, we stand up, analyze what went wrong, and renew our commitment to making these statements real in the lives of children. “

To love each person, helping to bear burdens and rejoicing in successes.

To recognize progress, growth, and achievement, however small, and to encourage it in whatever ways possible.

To offer respect to myself and all persons, as the precious, unrepeatable gifts from God that we are.

To provide others the security of knowing that I am here for them.

To facilitate success in achieving goals that contribute to making our world a more beautiful, loving place.

To take responsibility for myself and to encourage others to take responsibility for themselves.

To become personally involved with others in their struggle for meaning and purpose in life, and in their movement toward a relationship with God.

Pathway staff, foster parents, board members, and volunteers wrap each child, family, and young adult we serve in unconditional love and care. We stand next to them, regardless of the daily challenges being faced. We take every opportunity to make Pathway children feel that they are worthy and valued, in hopes of changing the unfair perceptions that have been projected on them. This is a long-term commitment; one that requires each of us to take personal responsibility as advocates and agents for change.

7 Values

1. LOVE: We seek to express love and care for one another. We accept our differences and work to increase our understanding by patiently listening, supporting, and comforting each other.

2. RECOGNIZE: We mutually give praise for the goals reached, both large and small. We acknowledge a job done to the best of a person’s ability. We celebrate attempts that are efforts for improvement in programs and services.

3. RESPECT: We value each person as an individual human being regardless of the person’s morals, beliefs, actions, or appearance. We do this by relating to others with honesty, consideration, empathy, and forgiveness.

4. SECURITY: We provide moral support to one another in both work-related and personal life issues and decisions. We allow fellow staff members to express personal opinions without fear of judgment, discount or condemnation. We find security in the fact that we are all working towards the goal of actualizing the seven ideals of Pathway.

5. SUCCESS: We celebrate our collective successes. Personal goals are more easily achieved and more rewarding with the input and encouragement of other Pathway team members. One individual’s success is the team’s success.

6. RESPONSIBILITY: We demonstrate responsibility by taking care of our whole selves, Pathway’s image, and property. This responsibility includes communicating and addressing the needs of those with whom we work (inside and outside the organization), giving 100% to each task, and setting appropriate boundaries. It is the responsibility of each staff member to accept his or her role in mistakes, to participate in problem-solving, and to contribute to making Pathway the best that it can be.

7. PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT: We experience personal involvement as a triangular relationship involving our minds, our hearts, and our hands:

  1. Mind – the foundation of personal involvement is a shared understanding of ourselves and each other in pursuit of common goals.
  2. Heart – The core of personal involvement is that we are committed to a work environment in which we commonly experience compassion for one another, with its attendant risks and failures.
  3. Hands – The expression of personal involvement is that we work together to meet our daily challenges, volunteering to go the extra mile.