At 16, Caroline had been in the system since she was in 6th grade, and had 17 prior placements. She had been under the supervision of a probation officer for the past three years. The police were called in every previous placement concerning her, and she had a recent charge of assaulting an officer. Caroline was in our program for 18 months, longer than most youth, but she had a lot more to overcome. She did not have a supportive family; her mother was unwilling to stop using drugs to get Caroline back. We worked with
Caroline on skills like controlling anger and impulses, following simple instructions and coping skills. We helped her improve her hygiene and deal with the trauma of sexual abuse. Caroline slowly let her guard down and trusted staff. Caroline said she started to feel safe because the staff cared about her. Teachers at school began to notice a change in her, and her grandmother started participating in her care. She had not damaged property, attacked anyone, or had a law violation in a year. Our last hurdle was school, where she was still walking out of class and leaving school when upset. We worked with Caroline on choosing healthier self-control strategies to use at school.
We were extremely happy for Caroline when she no longer needed this type of care and left us. She found a youth group, and friends who were not in trouble. She lives with her grandmother who reports she is her little angel again. We are thankful we were allowed the 18 months necessary to make a difference with Caroline and to see her success.
*We changed this young worman's name and added a photo as he is still a minor.