By Claudia Quiñones, Caseworker
"Joey," a spry seven-year-old boy, currently resides at Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home, where he has lived for the past year. It was a rocky start. When he first arrived, he exhibited a lot of anger, voicing that he hated everyone. He frequently went into uncontrollable rages, demonstrating aggression towards himself and others. Joey would hide in closets, under the bed, or in the restroom when things were not going his way. He was often in detention at school—over lunch and after school—because he refused to do any kind of school work and he would not socialize with anyone.
It’s not hard to understand Joey’s hostility. His grandmother has legal custody of him, but has been unable to properly care for him and his two siblings, Rose and Pete. Their mother is in jail and their father has mental health issues and struggles with alcohol and drug abuse. He has abused the children.
When Joey arrived, he would talk only to some of the female staff and ignored most everyone else. Joey was taken to specialists and is now receiving medication and therapy services. When you see Joey now, he is always smiling, hugging people he knows, playing with friends, doing his homework, and getting involved in the program’s activities, including library services, arts and crafts, and sports at the gym and playground. His teachers and other school staff give frequent positive feedback about Joey by saying that he is well socialized, follows through with school work, and tries to help his teachers.
His childcare workers have played a big role in Joey’s success, offering patience, structure, positive guidance, and nurturing care. Joey has been in the program for almost a year and is a joy. He is a happy, carefree child, just like he supposed to be.