Ryan Reunites with his kids

Boys Town New England’s Family Visitation Program Helps Reunite Parents With Their Kids

Boys Town New England has many successful programs that focus on assisting children and families. They include the Family Home Program in Portsmouth, Foster Care in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and LIFT in the Pawtucket School District.

Boys Town’s Family Visitation program is also growing in success. This program helps parents learn new skills, build on their parenting strengths, and develop healthy relationships with their children. One of the biggest components of Family Visitation is to link families to whatever resources they may need to help get their children back and provide long term stability of the family. Numerous families and children benefit each year from these classes and guidance, which are offered to parents throughout New England.

One of the program’s most recent success stories involves Ryan and his twins, Ryan, Jr., and Suzanna. Roughly two years ago, Ryan’s children were placed in Foster Care at birth due to their mom’s substance abuse. At the same time, Ryan was caring for his aging mother who was in and out of Hospice. Shortly thereafter, Ryan’s mom passed away.

“I had lost my kids and after my mom died, I wasn’t sure I could ever be happy,” Ryan said. “I had really managed everything in her life during COVID. I got up every day and did what I had to do. After she passed, I started drinking, but then I realized I had to save my own life and I wanted to fight to get my kids back and save their lives.”

With no home or job, Ryan’s life took a turn for the better as he entered rehabilitation at the Amos House, a non-profit organization in Providence that helps homeless individuals struggling with addiction.

“The hardest part was just knowing I had to do so many necessary things that I didn’t want to do,” Ryan said. “I was put in uncomfortable situations. But in the end, I was doing it for me and my kids.”

The rehabilitation went so well that Ryan was eventually hired by the Amos House. It was also at that time, Boys Town got involved.

“We set Ryan up in our Family Visitation Program,” said Myrsha Frejuste, a Boys Town Care Coordination Services Consultant. “The visits start weekly for one hour between the parent(s) and kids. We gradually build up to six-hour visits.”

Not surprisingly, the visits went extremely well and recently Ryan was reunited with his kids.

“Boys Town is so wonderful,” Ryan said. “Boys Town taught me that people do care. They were so on-point and played such a big role in helping me get my children back. Life is like an ocean tide; it comes in and goes out. There are good points and bad points. I am motivated by love, the love of my kids and the love of life.”

Frejuste said Boys Town was able to provide Ryan with the extra assistance he needed.

“When people are faced with tough situations, it is the positive support of those around them that helps get them to the other side,” she said. “While working on Ryan’s case it was truly great to see all the providers – Boys Town, Amos House and Child & Friends -- work together to help lift this family up and set them up for success.”