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Boys Town South Florida Helps Family Find a Path of Healing

Change is hard for any family.

For Jose and Maria, change had to happen if their family was to stay together.

And change did happen, with assistance from Boys Town South Florida.

The process started when the couple and their two kids were referred to Boys Town’s In-Home Family Services ® program by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Jose and Maria had a history of domestic violence, and in one incident, Jose pushed Maria to the floor. She suffered swelling and Jose was arrested.

Jose also had a history of drug abuse and would become physically aggressive when he was under the influence.

Complicating matters, Maria suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after surviving an attack by a robber. She had nightmares and was afraid to leave the house. Her fear got so bad that if someone knocked on the, she would hide in a bedroom closet.

When a Boys Town South Florida Family Consultant began working with the family, there were small but immediate results.

Both Maria and Jose committed themselves to the program, vowing to make changes that would stop the physical and emotional battles between them and make their home safer for the children. They didn’t miss a single meeting with their Consultant over the 10 weeks they received counseling.

Jose also entered a rehab program and began attending church. Growing closer to God was a big factor in his recovery process and as he became less dependent on drugs, he wanted to spend more time with his family.

The Family Consultant also saw the couple begin communicating better and quieting the verbal and physical portion of their past relationship. They became better role models for the children and they all began to pray and eat together as a family.

The best news is that Maria received professional counseling for her PTSD and no longer has the fear and nightmares that haunted her. She now goes out in public without problems and has begun to trust again.

“I thank God and Boys Town for all the help we have received in keeping our family together,” Maria said. “We have learned to cherish and appreciate our family and children. The Boys Town staff helped us make positive changes and move on positively. Their support was amazing. The skills we learned helped us change.”

Maria said those skills might seem simple to some, but to her and her family, they were huge.

“The Boys Town Family Consultant gave us great advice,” she said. “She told us how we should treat each other and show respect for each other. She also taught us what being a family meant. We took that advice and put effort into making positive changes. We now know what a healthy relationship looks like. It feels wonderful.”

For Jose and Maria, their journey of healing continues. But they can now see how changing their lives is changing their future for the better.

The stories provided about the children and families in our care are real. In some cases, names may be changed and details altered to protect their privacy and therapeutic interests.