*Names have been changed for client privacy.*When Juliana found herself having to place her newborn in foster care, she immediately asked Child Protective Services if Ariel could be placed at Casa de Esperanza. Juliana knew of another family whose children were placed at Casa de Esperanza several years prior and recalled their positive experience.
Juliana used drugs and alcohol while pregnant. At the time of her birth, Ariel tested positive for drugs, leading to an extended hospital stay as she was monitored and treated for withdrawal symptoms. Juliana was determined she would do her very best to get clean and be successful. A Casa de Esperanza caseworker was able to secure her a bed at an in-patient drug treatment center just before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Juliana’s journey was not easy but through it all, she never gave up. COVID-19 restrictions and precautions only allowed for Juliana and Ariel to participate in virtual family visits, but Juliana focused on being present both physically and mentally for each one. Throughout Ariel’s placement at Casa de Esperanza, Juliana successfully completed in-patient substance abuse treatment, began outpatient counseling and secured fulltime employment. Each week, Juliana’s caseworker helped her set goals and an action plan to successfully reach her goals. It was these small steps that Juliana believes allowed her to get through her anxieties and fears without becoming overwhelmed.
After working on her plan for nine months, Ariel returned home with Juliana just in time for them to spend their first Thanksgiving together. Juliana says her sobriety and balanced mental health could not have been achieved if she didn’t have Casa de Esperanza there to support her every step of the way. Many times, Juliana found herself battling feelings of defeat that made her wonder if she would ever be able to successfully parent. Juliana appreciated that even when she took steps backward or allowed her feelings of doubt and defeat to creep in, she never felt judged by her caseworker, only cared for and genuinely supported. Juliana is now part of Casa de Esperanza’s Aftercare Program and knows her caseworker will continue to provide resources and encouragement whenever she needs it.