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Boys Town North Florida Goes All Out to Embrace Troubled Teen

At Boys Town, building relationships and establishing trust are always the primary goals when working with troubled youth. Recently, the staff at Boys Town North Florida was able to achieve those goals in a big way to help a 15-year-old youth named Julia.

Julia first entered a Boys Town North Florida Family Home, and after about a year, moved into Boys Town Therapeutic Foster Care. But over time, staff determined the teen needed a higher level of treatment because of the seriousness of her behavior problems. Julia eventually was admitted to an intensive residential treatment facility in another community.

As she was preparing to leave Boys Town's care, Julia told the Boys Town North Florida staff that they were more of a family to her than her own family. She recounted a time when a staff member had responded to a crisis situation in her Family Home and had prayed with her to help her calm down. Julia said it was the first time anyone had ever prayed with her, and it made a lasting impression. 

Staff members responded in kind, reassuring Julia that Boys Town would always be there to love and care for her, and would welcome her back after she received the treatment she needed.

Sadly, Julia's parents' rights were terminated, and she lost contact with her family, leaving her alone and feeling abandoned. 

But Boys Town kept its word. When Julia successfully completed her treatment, she was able to return to Boys Town's Therapeutic Foster Care program. 

"We love Julia and we are thrilled that she returned to us," said Bethany Lacey, Senior Director of Program Operations at Boys Town North Florida. "Soon, she will be eligible for adoption, and we look forward to advocating and helping her find her forever family."