Overcoming a Difficult Past
By Loraine Araiza, Social Worker
“Katie” comes from a single-parent family. Her mom lived in another state and was constantly moving, which prevented Katie from making friends or completing a year of school. Katie was responsible for caring for her younger siblings, so that when her mother would leave, she changed their diapers and tended to their needs. Her mother was often gone for extended periods, leaving Katie and her siblings with no food or money. The homes where they lived were unfurnished and not suitable for children.
Child Protective Services eventually became involved and removed Katie and her brothers and sisters from her mother’s care. Katie was placed in residential care at Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home, while her younger brothers and sisters were placed in various foster homes. Although Katie didn’t like taking care of her siblings, she was confused by being separated from them.
During her first few months at the Home, Katie was having difficulty adapting and was getting into trouble at school and skipping class. She was defiant and would not communicate with those trying to help her. Two of her siblings were then placed in residential homes at the agency, leading to a negative reaction: Katie denied being related to them and would not acknowledge them. If caseworkers tried to talk to Katie about her mother, she would get defensive and refuse to engage in discussion with them.
Over time, Katie began to communicate with staff because she knew they weren’t giving up on her. Her behavior started to change and she started to smile and laugh. She was still keeping her feelings inside, but was offered the opportunity to meet with a therapist twice a week. After a few sessions, she finally opened up and is making great progress.
Today, Katie is a different person. She is open, communicative, and makes jokes. She spends time with her brothers and sisters and is able to talk about her family. She is doing well in school and has passed all of her classes. Katie has a positive outlook and is grateful for the help the staff at Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home has given her to build a better relationship with her mother and siblings.
During her short time at Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home, Katie has made remarkable progress in every aspect of her life. She will only improve.