The following letter was sent to the Program Manager of the KidsPeace FCCP offices in Florida.

  

To Whom it May Concern:



About 18 months ago, I needed help for my three children. We were going through so many changes in our family. We were dealing with the issues of a divorce, new relationships, new stepfamily, new baby, moving to a new home and undesirable input from others ...
 
I had visited with a private counselor, but she did not accept our insurance. She was kind enough to look into possible avenues for us and referred me to  KidsPeace. I had seen the sign for KidsPeace on the window of her building, but I was not familiar with the organization. I really needed help. I called KidsPeace. From our first conversation, I felt comfortable with the counselor. She was a wonderful listener. She asked lots of questions, was not judgmental and, most of all, it was obvious that she was the advocate of each child who was her client. She was interested in the well-being of the child, the confidence, security in and of self, the free thinking and the ability of that child to accept, communicate about, embrace, and participate in, his or her life, whatever that might look like to that individual child.
 
Some of the issues we identified in our planning meetings were anger, confidence and sibling "rivalry." We, with the children's input, established goals for the three-month periods. I feel that our counselor helped the children to address the issues that pertained to each of them. I have especially seen my daughter, Linda*, 11 years old, apply the tools that she learned in counseling sessions . Linda has actually come to me when I am having a problem and offered her opinion, which is full of ideas and skills that have come from her counseling with KidsPeace! I have seen her take a situation that is difficult for her and go from anger and being "out of control" to being positive, clear about her feelings, identifying pro's and con's, in control of her feelings and ready to meet the situation head-on. It is amazing to watch. She has gained tools that will serve her throughout her life. We have a very open household now, full of open communication and encouragement, and she is flourishing; I most definitely attribute much of her growth and success to her experience with her KidsPeae counselor.

  

Not only was our counselor highly effective in her sessions with the children, she made herself available to me whenever I needed to talk with her. I called her many times to update her on the kids' situations, but, very often, I was vexed with a problem and needed advice. I called and she listened and advised, always with a sincere concern for James*, Joseph* and Linda. This was very helpful, especially in regard to James. I was going through a difficult time when James did not want to come to my home and spend time with me. I struggled for weeks and months over it and finally took her advice ... We had a session in which I sat with James and the counselor and told him that I loved him, and, because I loved him, I would let him do what he wanted to do. He smiled at me and said, "Gracias."  It was a wonderful moment.  Our relationship has improved, and continues to improve, since that day.
 
One by one, each of my children expressed that he or she was ready to finish counseling. So, we did close them out, each at the appropriate time. KidsPeace staff were wonderful to all of us from our first encounter to the last session. We left the door open for any of the children to return if the need arises.

  

I have obviously been very happy and satisfied with KidsPeace and with our counselor individually. Thank you for providing such a valuable service.

Sincerely,
L.R.*


*Names have been changed to protect privacy.