Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else

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So What Do You Do?

This is a question we all have to answer – probably more than you realize. On average, due to the things I’m involved in and where I’m at in life, meeting new people pretty frequently, I answer this question at least once a week. And sometimes it’s telling someone again. I would be very interested to see how many of my friends could answer the question “What does Katy do?”. Not that they are bad friends or to accuse them of not caring – honestly, even I have trouble explaining what I do. But we recently acquired a visual that may help, so I thought I’d share.

Ultimately, the overarching goal of my office is to end child abuse and neglect. Each year, nationally, millions of reports are made to child protective services and thousands of children die due to maltreatment. Depressing, yes. But we are working to change that. Our office houses one of many parenting programs that teaches skills to parents to prevent maltreatment. I, specifically, am a research coordinator overseeing just one research project involving this program, and my project is looking at two of these parenting programs braided together and being delivered to parents in 3 states.

The video below shows a little history of these programs. My project braids our program, SafeCare (the green dot), and an older program, Parents as Teachers (the purple dot). All of these programs have their strengths and none is perfect, so we aim to give families the most comprehensive program possible. This still probably doesn’t fully explain what I do, hopefully it gives you an idea! And it’s just pretty cool to visually represent the rise of home-based models.

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Last week, the youth staff made a little trip south to Lynchburg, TN for an overnight retreat. Candace’s family has an adorable house right off the square. We had some quality time to get to know each other better (most of us are new to the staff). And although everything was closed when we walked to the square for dinner at 6:15pm, we easily compromised and ate frozen pizza. We were definitely out in the country: it was beautiful landscape and a cute little town.

There are a few things required for a successful staff retreat: camp fire, smores, a few games of Catch Phrase and Celebrity, endless Nerf gun fights, soul-tending, cereal box games, a little work, and delicious local food.

These are just some of the pictures…you can see all of them on my Facebook page!


Barn behind the neighbor's house


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Yay Work

Today was my first official day of work. Completely on my own, thrown right into the mix. I was able to assess 5 pre-K kids who were all pretty cool kids and I think I got everything right! Yay! Guess all those dreams last night of over-sleeping, forgetting things, and doing things wrong were just that…dreams. Thank goodness!

One girl was especially talkative and was kind of hard to keep on task. Here’s the gist of my favorite exchange:

Girl: “Do you have any son or daughter?”

Me: “Nope.”

Girl: “Do you have a husband?”

Me: “Nope.”

Girl: “So you don’t have any family?”

Me: “Well, I have my parents and a brother.”

Girl: “You don’t even have a Papa?”

Me: “No, I don’t have any grandparents.”

Girl: [obviously feeling sorry for me]. “So you just have your parents and a brother? You don’t have a sister?”

Me: “No, no sister. Do you have a sister?”

Girl: “No, but I want a baby sister.”

A 5-year-old thinks I’m lonely. Wonderful. Haha.