Monday, 23 February 2015

A Home for the Holidays

Written by Holly Yzquierdo
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“Candace” is an active girl who loves dance and gymnastics. Like most 13-year-old girls, she likes to sing and express herself through music. Unlike other girls her age, Candace has experienced more than her share of trauma and grief.

Foster Care and Trauma

Candace first entered foster care around age 2. Eventually, her parents had their rights severed, and she was later adopted. Because of so much upheaval in her short life—she started to act out. Her behaviors became too much for her adoptive family, so they dissolved the adoption. Since that time, she’s been in 19 different foster homes.

With Candace’s future uncertain, she was placed in a residential treatment center in June of 2014. At the center, she worked with staff to manage and express her anger in healthy ways. After a lot of hard work, Catholic Charities staff helped to place Candace in a therapeutic foster home, just in time for Christmas of 2014.

Therapeutic Foster Care

A therapeutic foster family provides a safe and compassionate home environment for traumatized children. Therapeutic foster parents take on the role of a behavioral health provider, as they help children learn healthy expression and coping skills.

The Kurtz's have been therapeutic foster parents for five years. They have a high success rate for finding permanency for older kids like Candace. Their role is to advocate and care for kids. They focus on teaching independent living skills and get kids connected in the community.

When the Kurtz's and Candace met - they had an instant connection. Now, Candace is doing well in the Kurtz's home and learning how to function in family dynamics. The Kurtz's are also very involved in their church, and Candace is excited to be a part of it.

“For this time of the year, this is one of our staff’s greatest joys…to help kids spend the holidays in a loving home environment, rather than with staff in an institution,” said Joy Goff, Catholic Charities foster care program supervisor.

One day, in the not too distant future, we hope Candace will move on from the Kurtz's home and be placed with a forever family. For now, she is learning how to communicate and trust two caring adults. They will be an ongoing support to her for as long as she wants them to be.

Learn more about Foster Care

If you, or know of someone, interested in becoming a therapeutic foster parent, please learn more about our program and staff. You don't have to be a foster parent to help, there are many other ways to get involved.

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