This week I enjoyed one of my favorite parts of my job: celebrating with my clients. As I walked with Reyna* to get the first ice cream of summer break and she recounted the details of her recent middle school graduation, I was struck yet again by her radiating joy as bright as her yellow sweater. We pointed out every dog we saw, made jokes, shared favorite stories, and she talked about her dreams for the future. Her voice was chipper as she thanked the cashier and as she asked me if we could eat our ice cream in the park.
Tag: San Luis Obispo
Meet Alexis, one of the brave youth in our care. As a foster youth, she’d been in multiple programs since she was a child, including a group home from which she had transitioned into FCNI’s TAY Housing program at 17. But like most youth her age, Alexis liked the idea of “working towards adult independence” a lot more than she did having to actually do it. She threw crowded parties with drugs and alcohol in her apartment which caused damage and led to her being hospitalized. Eventually, Alexis had to make a choice--she could either try to follow the rules of the program or she would have to exit. Alexis decided to leave her apartment and her support services behind.
Over the next two years, Alexis tried to live on her own. She ended up homeless and fell deeper into substance abuse, both of which put her in danger constantly. When she was hospitalized once again for an overdose, Alexis felt like she was at the end of her rope. At only 20, she had no idea what to do. At the hospital’s social worker’s suggestion, Alexis reached out to her previous Social Services Social Worker for help. After completing an in-patient drug rehabilitation program, Alexis was accepted into Transitional Housing. Once again, Alexis moved into her own apartment to begin her journey toward self-sufficiency. Read her full story today to see how Alexis established strong support systems, healthy life practices, and started on her pathway towards recovery and growth.
Sharing stories of recovery and personal journeys through care takes a great deal of courage and self-awareness on the part of the story-teller. They share these very personal words not wanting to elicit pity or sympathy, but, rather, in hopes that those who hear their words will be able to relate; that they will see their own struggles or the struggles of their loved ones reflected back at them through eyes of compassion and understanding. Sharing impact stories like these becomes a powerful dialog between those in our care and those who support that care. And we love igniting these kinds of conversations.
We’d like to introduce you to Ashlee, a local mom of three who has been served through FCNI’s Bringing Families Home program, a program which houses homeless families as the last step in a family’s reunification plan. Below, Ashlee shares her journey in care and the impact of support in her and her children’s lives.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) has designated four major “dimensions that support a life in recovery”, including health, home, community and purpose. At the Family Care Network, we believe empowerment and choice are at the heart of the Recovery movement and we strive to provide the children, families, and youth in our care with the support they need, in each of these areas, so they can work towards recovery and independence. In this week's blog, titled "Lessons in Recovery: The Truths We Learn Through Hope" FCNI Social Worker Brooke Cone shares her connection to the Recovery Model and breaks down the lessons she has learned supporting a loved one in Recovery.
As parents and caregivers, we often feel a mixture of relief and stress as the school year begins. The structure and positive activity that school provides can be both stabilizing and stressful. Each child is unique and has a different reaction to school. This week, learn the four main ingredients to consider as you develop a weekly routine that fits your child and family.
Foster parents are a vital resource to our community. They open up their hearts and homes to help youth who, for one reason or another, are unable to live with their biological family. They provide safety and stability to youth in need and truly are remarkable individuals. So what happens when there are not enough foster parents? In this piece, Emergency Shelter Program Supervisor, Tasha Farmer, explains what happens to foster youth who do not have a foster parent and the harsh reality they face when there are no homes available.
Meet Crystal, one our our incredible youth partners. In her life, Crystal has experienced neglect, and physical and emotional abuse. Through hard work, time, and working with various service providers Crystal has developed an understanding of how to form and maintain boundaries, how to develop and engage in self-care strategies, and how to manage her trauma. Today, Crystal uses her experiences to support families, children, and youth as a Youth Partner within our Family Services Program. Read her full story and how our Full-Service Partnership (FSP) program has impacted her life today!
The Mountain Air is a local business who have found unique supportive ways to help our mission. They not only have held generous fundraising events to benefit FCNI, but they recently invited our youth to participate in designing and executing a community art project, enabling her to express herself in a safe and encouraging environment. Read more about Josh and Lindsey Haring of The Mountain Air to learn more about why they support us and why they chose our youth for this very special art project.
Rosa entered college undocumented and transitioning from foster care. These two life experiences meant that she faced more obstacles than almost all of her freshmen peers. The only thing that was for certain for Rosa, was that nothing was certain. She had dreams--big dreams--but she wasn’t fully sure if they would be attainable. All she really knew was that she had the drive and the determination to do her part to achieve her goals; all she needed was a little support to go the full distance.
Gratitude can come from suffering, hope from devastation, and intentionality from chaos.