In 2013, the System of Care Program in Collinsville, IL received a referral for a child, Marc*, in a specialized foster home. Marc had a history of setting fires and destroying property, making him at high risk for placement in a residential program. Prior to his placement in the specialized foster home, Marc experienced multiple moves and instability in his life. He was not living with his siblings and his parent’s rights were in the process of being terminated. Marc struggled to communicate with the adults in his life and was making minimal progress with his therapist.
The OHU System of Care was asked to serve as a “new set of eyes” for this child who was struggling by assessing current efforts and making recommendations for changes to his treatment plan. The SOC worker spent the next 45 days meeting with and discussing permanency planning with Marc’s service providers. The SOC worker was able to recommend changes to Marc’s treatment plan, including suggested interventions to help the child express himself to the adults in his life.
The System of Care worker also provided recommendations to Marc’s therapist on ways to utilize the child’s strengths in therapy, as well as incorporating non-verbal communication into therapy. Most importantly, the SOC worker was able to provide much needed support to Marc’s foster parent, who was interested in adopting him.
Marc’s placement was stabilized through System of Care services, which provided new insights into the services Marc was receiving. Over time his verbal abilities have improved with his foster parent and the other adults in his life. When the case closed, Marc’s caregiver mentioned that Marc now communicated, in small increments, with her on a daily basis, a big improvement from when SOC services started.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the family. Photo is a stock image.