Foster Child Crowned Cotillion Queen
Michelle* had been in long term DSS custody with parental rights terminated, and multiple placements in regular DSS foster care, group homes and hospitals. She engaged in self-harmful behaviors and suffered from significant emotional issues, depression, anger issues and outbursts when she first came to KidsPeace. Her first KidsPeace placement did not work out, but the foster parent worked with another KidsPeace foster parent who had met Michelle through different KidsPeace activities and trainings. The R. family felt that they could work with Michelle and asked for the opportunity to do so when their foster child was discharged.
Michelle has been placed with the R. family for more than a year. There have been some rocky times because years of behaviors and emotional issues do not dissipate overnight. The R. family has been diligent working with Michelle, and she has made progress toward goals. Although she still has significant issues that continue to warrant therapeutic interventions and therapeutic foster care, the R. family has definitely made a huge difference in Michelle's life. Not only have they embraced Michelle, but their extended family and church family have also come to care deeply for Michelle and have been very supportive.
Michelle was approached by members of the R. family’s church and asked to be their representative in their 2008 cotillion. Michelle agreed and proceeded to attend multiple sessions learning etiquette, ballroom dancing and other skills to participate in the event. Michelle was encouraged and supported throughout the training and event not only by her therapeutic foster parents but also by their extended family, the Family Consultant, Michelle's DSS Social Worker and her Community Support Worker. Each month, she was involved with Treatment Team members at regular ITT Meetings, which also involved Michelle giving updates on her progress with the Cotillion, the search for the perfect white formal gown and updates on her progress with the various dances including the waltz, which she did practice often. She continued to need support and encouragement throughout the process, as social settings continue to cause her anxiety.
Michelle did participate and was Crowned Queen of the 2008 Cotillion. Michelle again wore her gown and crown in December when she represented the church in the annual local Christmas Parade.
The progress and achievements of each of the above foster children, as well as the other children who are placed by KidsPeace foster care, are direct results of the excellent therapeutic foster parents who work so hard with KidsPeace associates to help their foster children heal. Nothing is possible without the dedication that the therapeutic foster parents give to their foster children each and every day.
To learn more about foster parenting or to apply to become a KidsPeace foster parent, CLICK HERE.
*Names changed to protect privacy