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With Boys Town New England's Help, Mom Gains Self-Confidence, Reunites with Daughter

Jessie Raymond

When difficult ​circumstances led to the removal of Jessie Raymond’s 8-year-old daughter from their home by child protective services, Jessie had just one goal – improve her situation so she could get her child back.

The problem was, Jessie didn’t know where to turn.

She had no job. She had little financial support. And she also was caring for her disabled mother.

For Jessie, there were many questions but few answers. Fortunately, she found Boys Town New England and Family Consultant Emily Garmirian.

As part of the site’s In-Home Family Services program, Garmirian began making regular visits to Jessie’s home. Garmirian soon understood the family’s situation, and she and Jessie talked through what had to happen in order for Jessie’s daughter to come home. They laid out goals and what Jessie would need to do to achieve them.

One of the first issues the two women tackled was Jessie’s unemployment.

Emily had not had a job for about eight years. Her attempts to interview for and obtain steady employment were hindered by her sometimes fragile emotional state. Suffering from extreme anxiety, she was barely able to make it through an interview.

“Most of the time, I would end up crying afterward,” Jessie said.

Through practice and hard work, Jessie gradually learned skills that would help her succeed.

“Emily helped me gain confidence to be myself,” Jessie said. “She convinced me that I can talk to people better than I thought I could. More than anything, though, Emily helped me feel better about myself.”

Leading up to a job interview, Garmirian role-played with Jessie and went over questions that might be asked. They talked about appropriate answers and how Jessie could interact with her potential employer. When the day came, Garmirian accompanied Jessie to her job interview and sat in to provide support.

Afterward, Garmirian praised Jessie for her bravery in the interview.

“I was proud of myself,” Jessie said.

Jessie eventually landed a job and began earning a steady income. But there was a bigger picture to the entire process. She was beginning to understand what it was going to take to be successful as a mom and a provider.

“The interview skills helped me in getting a job,” Jessie said. “But it helped me in other areas, too, like meeting people. When you’re down so long, it’s hard to believe that things can get better. They definitely did, though.”

Boys Town New England also connected Jessie to local resources, all of which helped her improve her home situation so her daughter could return. She found furniture for her apartment, utilized local food banks and clothing banks, identified local farmers’ markets that accepted food stamps and learned household budgeting skills. And Jessie completed the Boys Town Common Sense Parenting® curriculum, which helps parents enhance their parenting skills and learn new ones.

The biggest blessing came when Jessie and her daughter were finally reunited. Jessie said she appreciated the way she was treated by Garmirian and all the people at Boys Town New England.

“I really liked the Boys Town people,” Jessie said. “They were nice to me and my daughter. And they never made me feel bad that I had lost my daughter in the first place. They always made me feel like I’m a good mom, and I’m working hard and I deserved to have her back.”

Day-to-day life is still difficult for Jessie. She works hard to care for her daughter and her mom, and does her best to make ends meet.

But the main thing is that her family is back together.

“Boys Town has been very supportive,” Jessie said. “Without them, I definitely would not have been able to meet all the standards the state required for me to get my daughter back. I am so thankful.”