Nicole* and her four children were referred for services last summer. Nicole was previously involved with child welfare services and was reluctant to participate again despite a court order. At the time of referral, Nicole was not working, was residing in a home in poor condition, and was allowing a 26-year-old homeless male to live with the family. Her oldest son, Ryan, had been in juvenile detention for the last 8 months. Chase, attending middle school, had learning disabilities and did not socialize with his peers. Anthony, her 10 year old, displayed extreme aggression at school and was briefly hospitalized because of an incident at school.
Despite her initial reluctance, Nicole eventually became engaged in services and started to make progress in her own life and the lives of her children. Nicole has been employed for the last six months as an in-home care provider and loves her job. In fact, when Nicole’s car was not working during the recent winter storms, she walked to each of her client’s homes, in a foot of snow, to make sure she could maintain her job.
Having a job allowed Nicole to start tackling some of the repairs she needs to make to her home. When her home needed a new furnace and she didn’t qualify for any assistance, she combined her earnings with her income tax return, purchased a new furnace, and hired a contractor to do the installation. She used these same funds to have new water pipes correctly installed so that she would have problems with the pipes freezing next winter. Nicole new budgeting skills also allowed her to keep some money in the bank so that, in the future, she can paint the kid’s bedrooms and start repairs on her kitchen.
Nicole completed parent training course and immediately started to put the lessons to work. She created a behavior chart for her children to allow for tracking. She used the conflict management skills to help manage arguments between her boys and assert her authority in a positive manner. The children responded to these changes and were able to start solving problems in a less aggressive manner.
Initially, Anthony would scream “Go away” and “Get out of here, you are DCFS” whenever the Intact Worker visited the home. By working with Nicole and the school to switch Anthony to a different classroom and dramatically change his behavior at school and at home. The Intact Worker is now receiving smiles and hugs from Anthony when there is a visit in the home.
Chase’s school counselor reports that he is a happier child and better able to interact with his peers.
When the boarder Nicole was trying to help failed to follow through on his promises, Nicole asked him to leave. Nicole demonstrated her new found self confidence and ability to make decisions in the best interest of her family by having him move out.
Nicole has demonstrated tremendous progress and transitioned from a reluctant client to one who welcomes assistance from One Hope United. She is happier, more confident and much more engaged with her children. As a result of her hard work and the progress of her children, the Intact Worker plans to request the court order for services end early.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family.