Every day, Family & Children’s Place helps children injured by abuse – sexual, physical, and emotional – and neglect, reclaim what should be their birthright – happy, healthy lives, filled with meaningful relationships. Staff sheds tears of joy alongside children and their families with each improvement and milestone, with every advance.
Children like Sadie, a student involved with our Family & School Services program. When Sadie first joined the program, she was defiant, argumentative and uncooperative, with staff and other students. She observed without engaging and kept arm’s length from everybody and every event. Over time, though, as she spent more time in and around the program, she argued and acted out less and less.
She participated in CLASP (Community, Leadership, Action and Service Project), which includes activities such as a daily homework help, life skills development, service learning projects and help with anger management techniques, substance abuse avoidance and peer relationships. Sadie and her family took part in the Families and Schools Together (FAST) curriculum, which increases a child’s success in school through family therapy, delinquency and substance abuse prevention, mental health interventions and group dynamics.
Sadie’s family was the only participating family to record perfect attendance in the FAST program, and it shows through her behavior and her willingness to join in with her peers in activities. She recognizes the changes, too, and is proud of the things she has accomplished and the changes she is making.
Then there’s Jeremy, who came to the program an extreme introvert. He sat as far from others as he could, showed little interest in activities and lessons and the few times he did participate, he spoke so quietly no one could hear him. But as time passed, he grew more confident, more open to small roles, then larger roles.
Today, Jeremy still shows signs of being an introvert, but he’s a joiner, too. And in the groups he joins, he’s quick to help facilitate, to lead. He’s speaking up and out more and becoming more comfortable socially with his peers. Staff says the change is like night and day and is excited to have had the chance to help and watch Jeremy come out of his shell.