Do You Know What Kids’ Chance Is and What It’s Doing for the Families of Injured Workers?
When a worker is injured on the job, the primary goal of all involved is to enable meaningful recovery and an eventual return to work. This prerogative places an incredible amount of attention on the injured, and with good reason.
But behind that injured worker is a family that has just watched their loved one fall to a workplace accident. In many instances, it’s a child watching their parent unable to work, and at times, unable to care for themselves. In the most unfortunate of cases, a workplace injury can result in the death of a parent.
The injury goes way beyond the worker involved in the accident.
Not only are physical and emotional impacts relevant, but a parent’s inability to work can typically result in financial setbacks for their family, thus making a child’s educational and career ambitions more difficult to reach.
Families and children are impacted by workplace injury, and its web of effects, every day. Ensuring that these children can find and receive unwavering support is imperative.
And that’s exactly what Kids’ Chance is here to do.
Kids’ Chance was first founded in 1988. Today, there are 49 state organizations across the country who share a simple mission: to provide scholarships to children of workers who have been seriously or fatally injured on the job.
Adding Another Layer to the Workers’ Comp Industry
Many workers’ comp professionals throughout the industry have become affiliated with Kids’ Chance because it allows them to take their passion for helping injured workers a step further.
For many, it builds a sense of unity throughout the industry.
“When I look at Kids’ Chance, it’s one that unites the entire industry no matter what facet of the workers’ comp space [one works in],” said Mike Cirillo, President of myMatrixx. “Everyone from insurance companies, TPAs, employers and service providers participate.
“We’re all aligned in support of the critical mission of Kids’ Chance.”
“Kids’ Chance is blind to who you are in the industry, whether you’re an attorney, an employer or a provider,” said Kevin Turner, Chief Clinical Solutions Officer of Paradigm and former President of Kids’ Chance.
In an industry that is filled with organizations that are constantly in competition with one another, Kids’ Chance strips those titles and company names away, and allows professionals to join together to achieve something much greater than their own successes.
“While many of us are business competitors, we can put that aside to make a difference and support the important work of Kids’ Chance,” said Cirillo.
In some cases, involvement with Kids’ Chance provides organizations an opportunity to take their missions and values one step further. Many professionals find that the mission of Kids’ Chance not only aligns with their own company’s mission but amplifies it.
“When I joined One Call, I knew immediately that I wanted to get involved with Kids’ Chance,” said Terri Lewis, Chief Human Resources Officer, One Call. “Their mission is so well aligned with ours and the work they do is so important to the people we serve. It makes it a wonderful partnership for us.”
Providing Education Opportunity to Those Impacted by Injury
Kids’ Chance provides scholarships so the children of workers who have been seriously or fatally injured on the job can pursue their educational dreams. This support comes in the form of scholarships that are funded through individual and partner donations. Rather than basing decisions on the academic merits of recipients, the Kids’ Chance scholarship program is focused on those who are in true need of the support.
This is especially pertinent for children who have lost a parent, or whose parent may not be able to return to the work they had once performed after their injury.
As a child’s world is altered by a parent’s injury, one thing should stay consistent, and that is access to education. Though a family may be forever changed, a child’s goals and dreams need not be cast aside.
At times, Kids’ Chance may even provide financial support to a child who wasn’t entertaining education opportunities prior to their parent’s injury.
“[Robert] Clyatt, founder of Kids’ Chance of America, had the vision of finding kids who were impacted by the tragedy of having a parent suffer a workplace injury, and giving them the opportunity to go to college, when they did not have the chance prior,” said Turner.
These instances produce a genuine and beautiful moment: turning a past tragedy into a promising future.
Lewis also expressed similar optimism when talking about a child who experienced the kindness of Kids’ Chance.
“I think about our own Kids’ Chance of Florida One Call Scholarship recipient, who is now an industry advocate. He could have been completely turned off by our industry, given that his father passed away on a job site when he was young. Instead, he’s continued to press forward, focusing on his bright future and demonstrating to other kids like him that there is life after a tragic workplace injury.”
Of course, these scholarship recipients have the potential to go on to work in the workers’ comp industry themselves, a scenario that many professionals hope plays out.
“As scholarship recipients go on to work in our industry, or other careers in other industries, it really helps to get the word out on all the good that [the workers’ comp industry] does,” said Jim Ryan, chief operating officer for the Americas, Sedgwick.
Showing the Goodness of Workers’ Comp
In the past, the workers’ comp industry may not have had a sterling reputation. So much has changed, and it’s time to get that message out there.
Organizations like Kids’ Chance give the industry a stage to display what drives them each day. At its core, this industry is made up of people with a desire to help others. And Kids’ Chance represents the true nature of workers’ comp, day in and day out.
“Historically, there’s been perceived conflict between the industry and the injured worker,” said Cirillo. “[myMatrixx’s] commitment to Kids’ Chance is a critical component in reaffirming our values as a leader in the industry and we are proud to be part of it.”
“Kids’ Chance adds more value [to the industry] and gives us another way to pay back and say, ‘We’re here to help.’ ”
In many ways, involvement with Kids’ Chance presents the greatest aspects of the industry.
“This partnership enables us to humanize our work even further by positively influencing the lives of injured workers’ children,” Lewis said.
And this involvement brings a particular sense of pride for workers’ comp professionals. The work of Kids’ Chance, and those who collaborate with and support it, ensures that no child suffering from the impact of a workplace injury is left behind.
“[Kids’ Chance] helps us to focus on what matters at the end of the day. And it makes me personally proud to be a part of this industry for 30 years,” Ryan said. &