On Monday, May 14th, 2012, Foundation 2 board and staff came together to celebrate shared accomplishments through our Annual Meeting. During this time, several Foundation 2 staff described situations where they truely were able to impact the life of a client for the better. Over the coming months, Foundation 2 will share some of these stories through our blog. Below is one of these stories, shared from our Independent Living staff. Please note that details of this story have been changed to protect the confidentiality of our client.
“Aftercare is a resource for youth who have aged out of foster care. We help kids set goals and we try our hardest to help them reach those goals.
I’ve had the pleasure to meet one special guy through this program. He is a young man who has spent a great deal of time in foster care and placements. Because of whatever reason, he ended up in Cedar Rapids, several hours from his hometown and family. Like many youth, he wanted to spread his wings and live independently without really knowing what that meant. He exited the program but eventually returned. While in the program he had a difficult time keeping consistent housing and employment. He had made comments previously that he burned bridges with his family and living with them or asking them for help was no longer a possibility.
This young man worked with our staff for almost two years. During these two years staff helped him set goals and work towards meeting these goals. We were able to foster a relationship with him where he felt he had someone to talk to. He felt safe in our office and in the program. I began meeting with him. We spent one of our sessions out driving to various places to pick up job applications. He really opened up. He expressed his sadness of not having a relationship with his siblings or his parents. He talked about the guilt from the situation that led to him be estranged from his family. This is really a testament to the relationship staff built with him. If we had not made him feel safe, he wouldn’t have opened up to me. I urged him to call his parents. The next week he called. He said he called his family and was moving home. His family was giving him another chance.
Our next visit was getting all the loose ends tied up and transferring him to our counterpart in his hometown.
Somehow, it was as if he was unable to succeed without the support of his family; like there was always an invisible barrier in his way. I have spoken to him since transferring and he sounded great. At the moment I called him, he was at a family function…I could hear the happiness in his voice.”