Boys Town New England's Care Coordination Services Consultants advocate for youth and families to ensure that they receive appropriate services from community-based providers. We would like to shine a light on a successful reunification.
Boys Town made initial contact with Danielle in February of 2022, after she lost custody of her son, due to domestic violence and substance use. Without any family support, she felt alone and overwhelmed, and didn't know what to do or where to start her efforts to get her eight-year-old son, Andre, back. Through Boys Town's Care Coordination and Visitation Program, Danielle received intensive support from Program Consultant, Lily Rielly, who helped her to identify her strengths and areas where improvement was needed.
Lily persistently pushed Danielle and motivated her to attend her counseling, classes, and screenings. Lily genuinely wanted to help Danielle in her efforts to ensure that her son would be returned to her care. “Danielle just needed reassurance that she was doing the right things and that it would all turn out," said Lily. Danielle stated “It was possible for me to improve thanks to all the resources I was given, the positive reinforcement, and things to look forward to. I received major emotional support. I would've been lost without Boys Town."Boys Town monitored the families progress for nine months while Danielle continued in services. She then completed Boys Town's Common Sense Parenting Classes, mental health counseling, substance use counseling, batterer's intervention, and attended toxicology screenings.
“I worked with Danielle and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families to assess and document Danielle's positive steps forward, and verbalized that Andre should be allowed to return home," said Lily.In December of 2022, Andre was returned to his mother's care, and she now appreciates every moment. “I'm proud of having custody of Andre, being sober, and obtaining a car and housing," said Danielle. I would absolutely, one hundred percent, recommend Boys Town. I was nervous at first, but with Boys Town, we found a rhythm and it worked for me."
Olivia Behrens, Director of Community Based Services states “Reunification is important because children thrive best in their natural home setting. People deserve another chance to improve for themselves and for their children. We all have setbacks in life, and it is important to allow parents to learn from their mistakes and help them move past them, so they can raise their children the best way they know how."
Lily credits this mother's success to her willingness to collaborate with Boys Town to resolve her problems. “I know it can be a traumatizing experience having your child removed from your custody," said Lily. “I am proud to provide empathy and positivity when its needed. Seeing Danielle and Andre get into a new routine, in a new home, with a new outlook on life, made everything worth it. They were always a ray of sunshine in my week, but it makes me incredibly happy to know that they're going to do just fine without me there."
Boys Town's Care Coordination Program provided guidance and tools when Danielle felt frustrated and hopeless. Today, this mother and son have a strong relationship and are on a smooth path to a positive future.