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Gabi - Krisenprofi mit Herz
There for children in crises for 11 years

Crisis professional with heart

As a crisis foster mother, Gabi Grössing offers a temporary home to children in need

Gabi Grössing has been working as a crisis foster mother for the SOS Children's Village for over eleven years. In addition to his job, her husband supports her and her charges one hundred percent, without which this work would not be possible, Gabi Grössing emphasises.

71 children taken in, accompanied and let go. And still not tired.

Her own three children are already out of the house and she has recently had a grandchild. 71 children have already stood at Grössing's door, in the middle of the crisis, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes on Sunday afternoons, sometimes at Christmas time. This spirited drive to be there, to be ready, around the clock.

What is the motivation? "The children themselves. It's great to see how they develop, often within a few days, taking small steps, reassurance and stability comes. This difference in how they have come and gone. For example, I had a four-year-old boy who couldn't talk, couldn't communicate. When he left, he spoke so wonderfully, was able to communicate so vividly. That always motivates again."

Gabi Grössing also remembers a five-year-old boy who came to her at the level of an 18-month-old child. He could not put on his trousers without help. "And one day he had managed to put on his jeans all by himself. He was beaming all over! Those are moments you don't forget. They give you a lot of strength and energy. You quickly forget a sleepless night."

Crying is part of it

The crisis foster mother has also had four children at the same time at home in Lavanttal. She is currently looking after a little girl, five months old. She came to the house with a massive history, restlessness and constant crying. "Yes, and it's so nice to see her calming down so slowly, stabilising, taking on structure, security and warmth."

Gabi Grössing has supervision every five or six weeks. You need that in this job, too, she says. Letting go is, of course, an issue. Because one day it will be time to say goodbye again. Then the crisis shelter will be over. "At that point, you simply have to perceive yourself as a professional again. Otherwise it wouldn't work. And of course, you also cry, no question about it.

Gabi Grössing is a crisis professional with a heart. "In a situation like this, when a child leaves again, it is important to put your own feelings behind, to signal to the child that it is good like this, it is okay that you are leaving now. You can go now!" If that were not possible, Grössing says, she would harm the child and herself. And of course, grief is part of it: "Admittedly, there are children when they leave, I can't go into the room and take off the bedclothes for a week. But then I just give myself that time. And then I have all the energy and strength again for the next protégé who is just around the corner.