Thirteen year-old Mandy had a history of running away without telling her mother where she was going. When child protective services looked into her situation, they discovered that that Mandy’s mother, Joan, had multiple health issues which limited her mobility and availability to monitor her.
Joan cared very much about her daughter, but she was having a hard time managing Mandy’s tantrums and episodes of physical violence. Joan also needed support in meeting Mandy’s needs while addressing her own physical rehabilitation. She felt hopeless and out of control. She was convinced that her only real option was to give up custody of her daughter.
Joan and Mandy were referred to a social worker with the Family Preservation Program (FPP) at Family Support Services. The social worker began by helping the family identify their strengths, and working with them to connect with needed resources. Joan began receiving para-transportation services that allowed her greater mobility outside the home.
Their FPP social worker helped establish regular individual and group therapy sessions, as well as appropriate medication to help manage Mandy’s behavioral issues. She assessed the home environment and encouraged adjustments that would make both Joan and Mandy safer. Mandy’s school environment was evaluated, and she was placed in a new school that would be better able to meet her needs.
Joan and Mandy worked together with their FPP social worker to identify and address a number of issues. After months of work, Mandy has shown extensive improvement in managing her anger and interacting well with others. Joan is physically stronger and more comfortable accessing resources that allow her to be more engaged in her daughter’s life, as well as her own. With so much improvement in their daily lives, Joan and Mandy have strengthened their relationship, and now cannot imagine being separated.