A Connect Care Success Story
By Sarah Gentry - Connect Care Coordinator
This past fall, I received a call from Angel*, a mom in need of temporary child care for her 24-month old son, Ricky*. Ricky’s twin brother, Joey*, had recently endured a traumatic injury and was staring down a lengthy stay in the hospital. Angel desperately wanted the ability to stay with Joey at the hospital during the hours she wasn’t at work.
Angel was a resourceful woman. She had recently secured new employment, taking on an additional part time job to add to her existing full time position. She worked hard to care for her family. In spite of this, Angel still needed to secure daycare and find stable housing. Our Connect Care program could offer the breathing room she needed to work towards these goals.
One of our amazing Connect Care families welcomed Ricky into their home. While he was in their care, they were able to help provide for his significant developmental needs. Angel was extremely grateful to have appropriate care given to Ricky’s overall well-being, as the medical and emotional needs of Joey were being resolved.
After a month of utilizing Connect Care services for Ricky, it became clear Angel would need more time to work on her remaining goals. Joey had been released from the hospital and was healing from multiple surgeries. Unfortunately, Angel lost one of her jobs during this time and was in the process of being evicted from her home. She was overwhelmed and distraught to the point of feeling like she needed Missouri Children’s Division to get involved with her children. In her mind, at least then “all their needs would be met and they would be safe.” Angel believed this might also provide her the time she needed to create an essential life and home environment for her family.
I was heartbroken and moved to tears, feeling as though Angel had been forced into a corner. Though she had diligently worked to stabilize her family circumstances over the past month, it seemed hurdle after hurdle continued to arise, keeping her from reaching her long term goals. My supervisor and I put our heads together and came up with an alternative offer for Angel, hoping to help her avoid surrendering custody of her children to Children’s Division. We told her about a Christian youth home in rural Missouri that offers long term (6 months to several years) care to struggling families. In addition, it permits parents to remain in custody of their children throughout their stay. Angel was elated at this alternative and wasted no time working to secure a long term placement for her boys at the youth home.
Since Thanksgiving, updates from the youth home reveal Ricky and Joey have transitioned well and Angel has enjoyed a couple of visits thus far. Angel has been able to stabilize her employment and housing and looks forward to securing final details for daycare. Her desire is to create the healthiest family environment for when she and her boys are reunited. I continue to connect with Angel and she extends endless thanks to CFS for walking alongside her and her family.
A number of loving parents and workers mentioned here fought to insert the love of Christ directly into each immediate need of this family. Mentoring occurred over each stage, nurturing Angel throughout extraordinary adversity, helping her to achieve family goals and redefine success along the way. Angel is forever touched by CFS, to whom she lovingly refers to as “her team”. We long to provide direction that empowers and builds sustainable healthy family practices while instilling the love of Christ.
* The names of the family are not the real names of our grateful clients, but their story is very real.