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.
Upon entering the Girls Group Home, Megan began working toward inner goals to overcome her history, namely: 1) Improve her ability to manage her anxiety and fears; 2) Improve her ability to manage anger and reduce anger outbursts; and 3) Develop the skills necessary to build and maintain healthy relationships.
Megan did not always have an easy time working toward her goals, but through the high level of structure, reassurance, nurturance, positive role-modeling and guidance provided by group home staff, Megan was always able to get back on course. In less than two years after her entry into the Family Solutions Girls Group Home, in early spring 2015, Megan had made such great progress toward her goals that the option of moving into a Therapeutic Foster Care environment became a real option.
Megan’s team recognized the potential risks of this option, due to Megan’s significant history of failed placements and attachments. However, the team felt that continuing to work with her would provide the best chance for Megan’s success in Therapeutic Foster Care. Although she would be leaving the Girls Group Home, she would be able to continue her relationship with the same strong team that helped her come this far.
So it was that in late May 2015, Megan entered into a Therapeutic Foster Care environment. Megan’s team carefully chose a suitable foster home to best meet Megan’s needs, and she was able to attend the same public high school that she attended while in the Girls Group Home. All of Megan’s treatment team members from the Girls Group Home continued to work with her. This continuity of care was an important element that would ultimately contribute to Megan’s success.
When Megan entered the Family Solutions Girls Group home in July 2013, her prognosis was guarded because of her significant trauma history and its resulting extreme behaviors. She entered Family Solutions with diagnoses that included Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Family Solutions Girls Group Home staff worked diligently with Megan; they never gave up and remained invested in her success even if Megan would try and push them away. Staff stayed present with her when she would act out in anger and taught her skills to work with her anxiety. She started to form peer relationships in the group home and learned social skills that she had never mastered before. Megan’s self-esteem grew and she demonstrated a sense of trust in the mentors she found at the Girls Group Home.
After graduating from the Family Solutions Girls Group Home, Megan entered into Family Solutions Therapeutic Foster Care services. She recently celebrated her 1 year anniversary in the new foster home. She beams as she tells her treatment team that she hopes her foster parent will consider being a long term resource for her.
Megan continues to work on building her life skills and is now doing well in school and enjoys attending dances and football games. She loves to dance and has tried out for the High School dance team twice, and although she did not make the team in her two attempts she has not given up because she believes she is “awesome at dance”. After her high school graduation in June 2017, she envisions attending Le Cordon Bleu and having a career in Culinary Arts.