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May Mission Moment: You Have to Look Deeper than You May Expect

Project HELP’s Community Counselor recently worked with a family that had many layers of developmental issues. The in-home visits by Project HELP were very important in discovering the needs of the five-year-old child. Upon entering the home, it was apparent that the boy, Josh*, was socially and emotionally deprived and spent his days sitting in a room. Josh did not have an opportunity to use his gross motor skills and appeared to be malnourished. During one of the first visits, Josh’s mom, Andrea*, asked for information on providing a padded room for her son.

Josh was admitted to a feeding clinic at the hospital and, due to DCFS intervention, was not returned to the home. Project HELP continued its weekly visits and conversations with Andrea, and it became apparent there was more to this family situation that you might discover on the surface. Two other children had already been removed from the home and they were living with other family members. DCFS, Project HELP and a court-appointed guardian worked together to ensure that Josh was placed with his siblings in another family member’s home. After being removed from his mother’s home, Josh started to thrive! This summer, Josh will be taking swimming lessons and continues to develop and learn like a five-year-old should.

Sometimes it takes seeing a situation with your own eyes and talking one-on-one with parents to fully understand a situation. Unfortunately, not all parents will tell you the truth. But by seeing other things that contradict what you are being told, you can you discover that there is something wrong. Andrea may not have been providing the nurturing home that she should, but another family member can. When Josh was finally removed, the family member that has been providing his care asked, “What took so long?”

On a daily basis Project HELP strives to prevent child abuse, empower parents, nurture families and strengthen the community.  Our mission is that all children have a parent that has the skills to be able to act as a parent.

Thank you for your help in continuing to support our mission of empowering parents, nurturing families and strengthening communities.

*names are changed to provide confidentiality to our families

Project HELP Mission Moment February 2017

Like a lot of parents today, Sasha* was facing many obstacles including a misbehaved child who would not listen and talked back all while living in transitional housing with an ex-boyfriend. Her son had been diagnosed with multiple behavioral disorders. While Sasha had been and would continue to rely on her ex-boyfriend, she also felt that he was over-powering her decisions as a parent. Unfortunately, she had little to no support from her family. Sasha’s past challenges included severe sexual, physical, and traumatic events.

When Project HELP first started working with Sasha and her son, James*, she was preparing for a surgery which would leave her unable to completely care for herself and her son. Our first goal was to find care for her during this period of time. She had to rely heavily on her ex-boyfriend who was going through a battle of cancer on his own.

During the year-long support with Project HELP, Sasha was able to get through her period of time needing personal care due to her surgery, identify her low self-esteem and how it impacted her relationships, and create more of a relationship with James. She maneuvered through an Internet relationship with an out-of-state companion, but realized it was unhealthy for both her and her son.

Sasha is now employed, giving back to her community by volunteering, and continues to strengthen her relationship with her son. Her ex-boyfriend has moved out of the home they shared and she has created boundaries in pursing relationships with men. She is linked to ongoing support through school, church and counseling, all with the help of her community. James is also engaged in counseling for his behavioral disorders. Sasha is empowered to use the tools and strategies she learned to continue to nurture her relationships. Sasha and James have both grown due to their support from Project HELP.

* Sasha and James are not the real names of the mother and child described in this mission moment.