Sean and Ben, brothers ages 10 and 11, were removed from their mother’s home due to severe neglect. It was soon learned their uncle, who had been babysitting them, had sexually abused them. Put into a foster home together, the boys started to exhibit negative behaviors such as extreme outbursts, bathroom issues, and stealing. The transition was very hard on Sean and Ben.
After receiving medical exams and forensic interviews at Family & Children’s Place, the boys were assigned to recovery therapy. Despite the boys living in an abusive home, they had parents who they missed very much. They had not seen their incarcerated father for some time. The separation from family was difficult despite their now living in a supportive foster home.
Their therapist worked with the boys to write their “Trauma Narrative,” giving them back their own voices in what had happened to them. This exercise in telling one’s story was important for the boys both to process what happened to them and to reframe their feelings while learning to cope in a healthy way.
Engaging the boys in therapy and helping them develop new skills meant they were able to say, “It’s OK to love our parents, but still be angry and disappointed in them.” Sean and Ben remain with their foster family and are doing better in school. They do not exhibit the anger, separation, and anxiety issues as they had when first coming to Family & Children’s Place. Creating a safe space for resiliency to grow means Sean and Ben have a chance for a happier and healthier future.
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We work with families in need every day, but there is still more work to be done. More children and families to help.
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