Guest post by Tania Santos, Community Giving and Communications Manager; and Norrine Russell, Grants Manager, at The Children’s Home Inc. in Tampa.
A cottage bedroom at The Children’s Home.
When an abused child needs safety and love, when parents are at the end of their rope, when children are failing in school, when a mother dies and a grandmother takes in her six children, when parents need counseling to save their family, THE CHILDREN’S HOME provides hope, help and healing.
Now YOU have the power to help kids at The Children’s Home, like Danielle and Koby – with just one click through Aetna Voices of Health national competition.
Danielle and Koby’s Story
Danielle and Koby’s mother had her kids at a young age and wasn’t prepared to be a parent. She had a long history with substance abuse which made it difficult for her to care for her children. The children lived off and on with their mother in Florida and their grandparents in Michigan.
While in their mother’s care they were exposed to lots of drug use, physical abuse, domestic violence, and far too many sexual situations. Danielle was also sexually abused while in the care of her mother and saw a family friend die from a drug overdose. The young girl experienced physical abuse, being beaten and punched in the face, traumatized by her grandfather while residing with her grandparents.
A case plan was opened in July 2010 after reports from a teacher that Danielle and Koby witnessed domestic violence between their mother and her boyfriend. They were removed from their mother’s care in December 2010. As the mother already had an active case plan at the time of removal, termination of parental rights was pursued and granted in April 2011. The kids were 9 and 11 at that time.
The Children’s Home grounds.
Danielle and Koby resided with family and many group homes before being placed together at The Children’s Home Inc. (CHI). Upon being placed at CHI, placement was immediately sought with their step-grandmother, who was also back in Michigan. This was a long, tedious process that created a great deal of anxiety and frustration for the children. Their behaviors deteriorated as they struggled with the fear that they would never return home to Michigan.
Their strong relationships with The Children’s Home staff and therapists helped them through this extremely difficult period. They received weekly individual therapy and had family therapy as well. They remained for 14 months and were able to move back to Michigan to be with their step-grandmother in October 2012. The following summer, Danielle and Koby, now 10 and 12, were adopted by their step-grandmother. Because of the efforts of The Children’s Home, abused children experience safety, hope and healing every day.
The Children’s Home playground.
You can help abused children like Danielle and Koby today! VOTE for The Children’s Home in the Aetna Voices of Health national competition—and vote every day until October 13. The organization with the most votes gets $30,000, second place gets $20,000. This money would help children like Danielle and Koby have a safe place to heal, a warm bed and good food, and all the therapy they need to develop happiness and hope for the future. The Children’s Home is one of 33 finalists in the country and competition is FIERCE—the kids won’t win without our help!
Vote for The Children’s Home … vote for healing … vote for hope for Florida’s kids.