On September 4, 2021, Boys Town South Florida Development Director Daniela Mesquita presented Donna Siegel, Care Coordination Consultant, with the Family of the Year award on behalf of the Jones family. We talked to Donna about her experience working with the Jones family:
What caused the family to seek services?A referral to Boys Town South Florida's Care Coordination Services was done through the court to help monitor Alonzo's current services and link him to additional services. At the time of initiating services with Boys Town, Alonzo was 8 years old, and he had been placed in a residential group home, which was his third placement in five years.
Since working with Boys Town, what positive changes have you seen in the family?
Alonzo started to smile more and was able to control his emotions. He started talking and even said, “thank you for helping me." Alonzo's new parents are confident in their skills and have learned to praise his good behavior and are consistent in addressing bad behavior. Alonzo learned to accept his consequences.
What are the strengths of this family and explain how the family demonstrated those strengths during your work with them?
Both parents have been consistent with providing a structured home and addressing good and bad behavior. Initially, during the adoption transition, Alonzo's mother looked for advice from service providers. The family was linked to receive Boys Town In-Home Family Services, which empowers parents by teaching them new parenting skills, and provide emotional support 24/7.
What changes occurred for this family? How were these changes significant for the family?Alonzo and his parents have developed a strong bond. Alonzo, after all his years in foster care, finally has a mom and dad of his own he can call his forever family. The family had been trained on new parenting skills that supported them every step of the way. As time went by, Alonzo's behavior improved, and restrictions were lessened due to his caring family being able to trust their son.
What inspires you about this family that you'd like to share with others?“I met Alonzo's parents at an adoption disclosure staffing. At the staffing, there was a team of people that had been working with Alonzo in some capacity throughout the six years he was in foster care. All providers disclosed all the past behaviors, concerns, bad choices and academic delays. Even after hearing the worst of the incidents related to Alonzo, the family didn't flinch. Sharonda, the adoptive mom met Alonzo at an adoption event and since that day she has been determined to be his forever mom," Donna said.