*Names have been changed for client privacy.*
Sarah and Jonathon struggled to care for their children, Jennifer age 4, Ally age 2, and 1-year-old Jessica. Jonathon was out of work, and what little savings they had was gone. Sarah felt overwhelmed by the demands of parenting three young children and struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. During a visit with extended family, tempers escalated to the point that neighbors called the police. Ally injured her arm when she tripped and fell while everyone was arguing. They realized they needed help, and a family friend recommended that they place their children with Casa de Esperanza.
Jennifer, Ally and Jessica came into care with Casa de Esperanza the next day. Their parents said a tearful goodbye and assured them they would visit soon. The children were introduced to everyone in their new foster home, shown their bedrooms and toys, and offered a snack before heading to their intake doctor appointments. All three children were found to be healthy, but Ally had a hairline fracture from her fall.
Over the next few weeks, the children adjusted to their foster home. Jennifer and Ally frequently tested limits with their caregivers, expressing their anxiety and stress in physical ways. Despite the challenges, they became familiar with the household routine and learned to trust that the adults in the home would love them and keep them safe.
Sarah and Jonathon were up front about the challenges they faced and were determined that their children would come back to a stronger family. Jonathon admitted that after he lost his job, he started using marijuana to cope with his stress. Sarah shared that she had thought about killing herself and how overwhelmed and inadequate she felt as a parent. With the help of their caseworker, they set up a plan of service to get back on track. Knowing their children were safe and well cared for, they could focus on getting the help they needed. Sarah began working intensively with a therapist to address her own childhood trauma. Jonathon started treatment for his marijuana use. About eight weeks later, Jonathon found a job.
Sarah and Jonathon attended all required appointments and came on-time to every visit with their children. Although it was difficult to leave the children at the end of the visits, they left reassured that the children were happy and healthy. After six months of hard work, they completed their plan of service and were thrilled when they could take their children home.
During their time at Casa de Esperanza, Jonathon and Sarah learned that it is okay to ask for help, and found people they could depend on. They accepted assistance through the Aftercare and Outreach program where, over the next six months, a caseworker followed up with regular phone calls and visits. Jonathon continued to work and Sarah, although a busy mom, maintained her equilibrium while parenting their three children. Their caseworker felt the family was doing well and could start receiving services only as needed.
Two months later, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. The Aftercare caseworker immediately began providing extra assistance to vulnerable families, including Sarah and Jonathon, who once again faced unemployment. This time, they were not alone. Casa de Esperanza has helped the family remain stable throughout the pandemic by providing food, diapers, gift cards and encouragement. Jonathan received help with the challenging unemployment application process. Recently, Jonathon was able to resume his job part-time. Although stressed, they have been able to keep their children safe and at home due to the support of Casa de Esperanza.