Kim (not her real name), a 16 year old girl, was referred to Childhaven upon discharge from the hospital where she had been treated for substance abuse. Placement was requested pending an opening at an inpatient mental health facility to address her substance abuse issues. Kim was on probation for selling drugs (she said she sold drugs to keep herself supplied as she was using daily).
When Kim arrived, she was extremely underweight at 83 lbs. and 5 foot 5 inches tall. She had scabs all over her face from picking at herself, a side effect of the drug use. She was irritable, easily agitated, and suffered from daily headaches. For her safety, she was placed in one of our observation bedrooms and was kept with staff at all times.
During the first few days, Kim was verbally aggressive, refused to follow shelter rules, and would not participate in any group activities. She would sleep up to 12 hours a day and did not eat much at all.
After those first few days, shelter staff worked with Kim to develop a safety plan. She agreed to complete a mental health assessment and she participated in daily life skills activities. She was eating more, she was not picking at her skin and the marks on her face began to clear up.
Kim was at Childhaven for approximately three weeks. During that short time, she became a different person. She was outgoing. She volunteered to read to the younger children, she helped the pre-teens fix their hair in the mornings and she made posters for the Childhaven booth at the San Juan County Fair.
Upon Kim’s discharge she weighed 95 pounds. She was no longer picking at her face and it was clear. She was so proud of herself and she thanked the staff for helping her. She was given a before and after picture to take with her and promised to keep staff informed of her progress. Via email she has let us know that she successfully completed her drug treatment program and is well on her road to recovery.
A family of five children came into the CAC for a forensic interview and got services through family advocacy. Law Enforcement and CPS as well as the CAC staff worked well together in this investigation involving the four children of allegations of physical abuse of a child in the home. A child disclosed physical abuse and was able to be removed from the home by CYFD and placed in a shelter until placement was being arraigned. Law Enforcement was able to make an arrested of the parents and the children soon after that were placed in a foster home. The children are doing therapy with the CAC. We were all able to come together with as agencies in the community and get this kiddos into a safe place and were able to continue to provide healing support services to them.
When two young brothers, ages two and three, came into the system, they faced significant issues. Their parents who were struggling with addiction and mental health issues could not provide the stability and love the boys deserved. Despite the bleak outlook, there were high hopes for a joyous outcome!
The boys stayed together in foster care even though their foster home placement changed several times. With the support of everyone at CYFD and CASA, a solution was found. A decision was made to begin the adoption process in another county. A young, professional couple were identified as potential adoptive parents to the brothers. The couple had been longing to start a family, and they both committed to the journey of bringing these boys into their family. As they prepared to take the boys into their home, they moved to a larger home with a yard and arranged their schedules so that they could spend as much time as possible with the boys.
Not long after the boys joined the family they received the exciting news that they were expecting a baby girl! Due to the faith and commitment of these parents, they have formed a very strong and loving family.
Enduring endless state visits, doctor appointments, reams of paperwork, and sleepless nights proved one thing for this family– love always wins!
Here is a testimony from Brian (not his real name) about his experiences from Childhaven’s parenting class:
“I absolutely got a whole lot of knowledge and skills on how to successfully and appropriately parent my children. We have a 16-year-old, 14-year-old, 13-year-old, and a 5-year-old, so these skills were mandatory for a positive change. I was a single father for a while until I finally made my way into a positive and respectful relationship. This class helped our relationship grow and mature in many different ways. It helped me help my partner without having to be the bad guy. The program taught her things that I couldn’t have taught or shown her on my own. It showed has how to work on positive restrictions with our children, how to communicate correctly, how to punish them– or discipline them, I should say. I absolutely enjoyed this class the instructors. They were all awesome. Thank you all very much!”