A family served by the Family Preservation program includes mother, father and 15-year old daughter, thirteen-year-old son, 5-year old daughter and 9-month old daughter.
The family was referred to Family Preservation by DCFS in November of 2015 due to the 15 year old daughter’s report of physical and sexual abuse by her father, leading to police intervention. The father was removed from the home and incarcerated, which caused turmoil in the family and a divide between older daughter and her siblings. The son began displaying depressive symptoms and the relationship between the older daughter and her mother became very strained. The daughter increased her acting-out behaviors of stealing, lying, and verbal aggression towards her mother.
Upon consulting the County Social Worker (CSW) from the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) and the family, the In-Home Outreach Counselor (IHOC) observed how the mother demonstrated high levels of parental insight and communicated her concerns for how each child in the family had been impacted by the situation, including herself. Collaboration between the CSW, the IHOC, and the family allowed the IHOC to assist with identifying the needs of the family and providing linkage to appropriate services.
The mother and son had already commenced individual therapy before Family Preservation services started. The daughter was mandated by the court to participate in individual therapy and displayed resistance to the process. IHOC built rapport with the daughter and provided in-home counseling to assist her in exploring her resistance as well as showing her the usefulness of therapy. The IHOC was eventually able to link the two older daughters to our outpatient mental health services for in-home individual therapy and the oldest has been cooperative and participating. IHOC linked the son for individual therapy upon termination of services with his previous provider. The mother reported that linkage for in-home services was very helpful as financial hardship and lack of transportation for the family of five was a concern for her.
The mother has worked diligently to increase her housekeeping clients and has had the support of family to assist with rent as well as help take care of the children when she is at work. She was able to clearly communicate her need for resources as the income decreased significantly. She shared the need for new reading glasses for her daughter, diaper resources for the youngest daughter, and resources for low cost academic support and community activities for the children during the school year. The IHOC submitted the application for a no-cost community optometry program and new, free glasses were received before the school year started. The Family Preservation program was able to provide donated diapers and IHOC provided resources for free diaper and tutoring programs in their neighborhood, as well as information about free activities for the family in the community. The mother consistently explored the resources provided by the IHOC and advocated for her children to have the support they need to thrive.
During the most recent progress meetings with the family:
- 13-year old son reported “I feel the best I have in a long time and feel good about my family getting along.”
- 15-year old daughter reported that she is okay with doing therapy as, “it has been helpful to have someone to talk to.”
- The mother reported that the baby has started becoming less anxious about separation and not as fearful as she was prior to starting therapy.
The mother has expressed gratitude for the support and care of the IHOC, the CSW, and the therapists working with the family as she feels the relationships and services provided have made an important difference for the family. The IHOC and the Family Preservation program would like to wish the family continued success on their journey!