Malena Vega’s Success

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Before my life changed for the better I was in and out of treatment facilities, juvenile detention places and foster homes for no longer than a couple of months. I had anger problems and trust issues. I was diagnosed with ADD, Anxiety and Depression and I took a few different medications for these.

My first day at the group home was not the best first impression. I had a bad attitude and did not care. It took me awhile to get used to people really caring about me and my life choices. I really connected to a couple of the staff, Amanda and Dani, and they showed me that you don’t need to be in a house with your biological family to be loved and cared for as much as they cared for me.

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Megan’s Success

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Megan is now 17 years old. She was just 3 years old when she was removed from her mother’s care due to reports of neglect and abuse. Then she was adopted, and lived with her adoptive family until she was 8 years old. Sadly, she was removed from the adoptive home because of neglect and physical abuse that were so severe that she still experiences nightmares and flashbacks about it. After such severely traumatic relationships with adults, Megan began to doubt that she could trust any parental figures. In only six years, between 2007 and 2013, she had to leave a total of 13 placements before entering the Family Solutions Girls Group Home in July of 2013.

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Maria’s Internship

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It is hard to talk about growth and experience without discussing my early life as well. I was the second oldest child in my family to pursue a college degree. My father passed away when I was very young, and my mother had a difficult time raising four children by herself. Consequently, I went to live with my aunt from the age of three until I was thirteen. When I did see my mother, I often remember her helping friends and family with difficult problems. She has a generous personality and I look up to her as a shining example for me to emulate.

When I started my internship at Family Solutions, part of my learning objective was to observe the client’s transitions at the house, learn the intake process, the service plans, and medications. Later on I learned therapeutic boundaries, and I have had the opportunity to do individual counseling with some of the girls at the group home as well.

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Sarah’s Success

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When I first came to the group home, I was young and didn’t have much confidence in myself or other people. I had lost hope and I was full of anger and didn’t know how to go about dealing with these feelings properly.

The staff members of the Family Solutions Girls Group Home helped me realize my potential and supported me through getting my schooling finished. They were patient, even though I didn’t make it easy! They encouraged me to learn life skills that would help me for when I turned 18 and would leave the program. I left for school off campus by myself and came back on my own as well. The level of trust they gave me made me feel more confident in my ability to be self-sufficient. It also gave me a new level of confidence. They helped open doors and helped me find opportunities to better myself.

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Foster Parenting: Would We Do It Again? Yes, Yes, and Yes!

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Here is a little bit about our experience as foster parents. We have been foster parents for about 15 years and decided to work with Family Solutions because of all the extra support we get from them. We started our journey thinking we would be able to help out and affect a bunch of kids. That was not necessarily the case.

Our first child was with us for seven weeks and then was reunited with his adoptive family. The next child we took into care was a boy named “Andy” who was eight years old. He and his brother had been in the system since he was three. All we asked of him was to partner with us, and we would make his life better. He is a 22-year-old man now and recently graduated from the Job Corps. Andy had no family support that could take him in, and we knew this from the beginning. Andy is our son and presently living on our property.

Would We Do It Again? Yes, Yes, and Yes!We also had a girl during the raising of Andy. She stayed with us for nine years, and at 19, was able to go back and live with her biological family. We still keep in contact with her, and she is doing well. After that, we did some shorter placements anywhere between six months to two years, and most of them returning home to family. When we originally started doing foster care, we thought we would be a blessing to some kids. As it turns out, they not only became members of our family but are a huge blessing to us. If we had the choice to do it all over again, would we? Yes, Yes, and Yes. Has it all been easy? No, but it was so worth the journey. You will laugh, love, and cry with these kids, and in the end, they become your family, too.

Sincerely,

Michael & Becky Giudici
Stock photo used for illustration purposes only. Client names have been changed to protect the subjects’ anonymity.

Finding a Way In

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Teenage Girl with Her Head Down Looking Desponding in Parking Lot

Twelve-year-old Amber was referred to our Day Treatment Program because of her depression, impulsivity, and attention difficulties. She exhibited a number of self-destructive behaviors, poor hygiene, and school refusal. Her angry outbursts prevented her from attending public school.

During her year in Day Treatment, she made significant improvements, but her therapist, Andrew, felt he had not really gotten through to her. After completing the Day Treatment Program, Amber continued to receive therapy from Andrew as well as skills training from Family Solutions staff.

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Steven’s Story

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Staff Member Playing with and Teaching Children

At eight years old, Steven was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Because he had been removed from his parents’ home, his grandparents served as his legal guardians. He was referred to Family Solutions for treatment after his behavioral outbursts earned him multiple suspensions from public school. Emotionally out of balance, Steven had difficulty interacting with other children. It was hard for him to overcome his shyness and engage in conversation with kids he didn’t know. Sometimes the other kids mocked Steven, and he got angry and acted out by yelling or hitting. He didn’t know how to manage his intense emotions.

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Protective Parenting

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Grandfather in a Parent Support Group

The story is tragic but familiar: The mom and dad succumb to drug addiction, the dad lands in prison, and the mom, still using, winds up homeless. Where does that leave their middle-school–aged boys, Jake and John? In the loving hands of their grandparents, Jack and Julie, who gladly stepped up to parent their grandchildren.

Child Welfare referred the grandparents to the Family Solutions Protective Parenting Class in Grants Pass because the boys needed special care, having been traumatized by family disruption, parental neglect, and abuse. Jack and Julie were happy to attend the class.

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