Friday, November 20, 2009

A Moving Success Story

I want to share this great success story from one of my colleagues working on Staten Island. I'm inspired to hear about the great job my co-workers are doing. We're making an impact, one child, one school, one borough at a time!

Carol, a shy twelve-year old student, and her family were living in extreme poverty. They had several recent immigrants from their village in Mexico staying in their small, basement level home on Staten Island. Her family lacked basic household items like clocks, and there was no structure and healthy boundaries in their relationships with one another. Carol was often made the scapegoat for the family’s problems. Her mother suspected that Carol was stealing some of the few possessions and food items they had at home. She forced Carol to take on parental responsibilities not appropriate for her age, including making her stay home from school for a month to watch over their guests to prevent theft, and to walk her younger siblings to school. Carol struggled socially and academically as a result of these issues.

A Partnership with Children social worker started meeting with Carol and put together an action plan to improve her school attendance and situation at home. She bought an alarm clock for Carol and helped her reorganize her morning routine. Our social worker also called Carol’s home each day to make sure she would attend school, and made frequent home visits to assess changes in the family’s relationships. She also helped Carol’s family by referring them to local food pantries.

Simultaneously she provided Carol with individual counseling to help strengthen Carol’s self-esteem. Before long, the shy young girl who lacked confidence started to reveal her more bubbly, extroverted side. She smiled and greeted Partnership with Children staff as she showed up to school, and was proud of her academic achievements. Carol’s grades improved, her attendance increased, and she developed positive relationships with her peers and family.

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