Meet Claire*. She and her siblings now live with their older, adult cousin Lucy after being removed from their home. Lucy* welcomed Claire and her siblings into her home, despite her small house already being occupied by her own immediate family.
Family Tree received a referral from Adams County to provide in-home individual and family therapy when Claire and her siblings were placed in Lucy’s home. The children lacked confidence and a sense of identity, and struggled to integrate well within this new family arrangement, given their loyalty to their biological mother. Upon beginning Family Tree CFRT services, Claire was uninterested in communicating with her cousin and isolated herself from the family.
Before being placed in her cousin's home, Claire spent much of her childhood moving from foster home to foster home (staying with both relatives and non-relatives). This was due to concerns that their mother could not care for them appropriately. Claire’s mother struggled to keep a job, maintain stable housing, and has severe mental health concerns. Claire used negative and unhealthy behaviors to cope with her family trauma, through marijuana use, sexual promiscuity, and indifference towards her education (i.e. truancy, disrespect/aggression in the classroom, etc.).
Family Tree’s CFRT team began in-home therapy and supportive services for Claire individually and for the family as a whole. The family members learned more about the effects of trauma on a person's thoughts, feelings and actions, as well as the brain’s natural fear responses. Slowly they began to grow positively in their relationships with one another. Therapy sessions empowered Claire to make realistic strategies to move forward including effective coping tactics and healthy emotion-regulation techniques. She successfully used CFRT sessions to find ways to grow self-sufficiently and become a strong, independent young woman.
By the end of their time working with Family Tree’s Community Family Resource Team, Claire and her family had accomplished their individual and family goals. Claire stopped smoking marijuana, enrolled in a new school that met her academic needs and supported her positive growth, and successfully learned the importance of using her family members as a support system instead of isolating herself. The family’s successes with CFRT’s in-home services and in their daily lives helped them achieve their goals, cope with past trauma, and strengthen their family lifestyle by rejecting negative influences in their lives. Claire and her family are now on a constructive and confident path towards healthy family functioning and improved quality of life.