Helping a Child Heal

As a worker, you come across many stressful situations in the field. I have been threatened and cursed at many times. However, for me the most stressful situation was having to tell two siblings ages 3 and 5 that their aunt who had been their placement for the last two years was not going to adopt them therefore the goal was to find them a forever home. It was a battle between the adoption team and department for months because the Department was recommending aunt to adopt these children and the adoption team felt like the aunt had poor boundaries with the parents and would not protect the children in the future. I stressed for a long time having to tell these two young children that they were going to move. I had been involved in this case for two years so I knew how heartbreaking and confusing it was going to be to move these children. Just prior to this we had to explain to the 5 year old that their mother who failed reunification services was not going to get her and her sister back. That was hard for the 5 year old to understand therefore I knew having to remove her from aunt’s home was going to be devastating. I kept thinking how emotionally detrimental this would be and how lost she would be especially not having her family. My mind was flooded with all the questions she was going to have, “Where am I going”, “Who am I living with?”, “Does my sister get to go?”, “Do I get to see my family again?”, “Why can’t I stay with my aunt”. When the day came to explain the situation to the 5 year old she cried and cried and I hugged her tight. She did not ask any questions and still has not but her adoptive placement has been very supportive in meeting her and her sister’s needs. As time goes on she continues to heal from the trauma and I continue being as supportive as possible and I will be there when she is ready to ask questions.​

One Response to “Helping a Child Heal”

  • Natalie S. Says:

    Dear Helping a Child Heal,
    It sounds like you are very compassionate about the services you provide to the children on your caseload. I think it is great to read about the emotional pain you are willing to share with your clients. I myself have only been working with CWS for just over a year now and can relate to your conflicted self. One of the greatest parts of our jobs is either reuniting families or finding that forever home that will give children an opportunity to create a lifetime of connections in a healthy and supportive environment. Remember that children at a young enough age are resilient enough to adjust to the situations that we are putting them in to. They will also become products of their environment. If they are placed into caring, nurturing, most family like homes, the chances are that they will heal and survive. Also knowing that you are probably the most stable figure that these children have probably had for the last two years of their life will assist them as you transition them to their new home. At 3 and 5 if they see you placing them in a new home they will trust that you have found a good match to meet their every need. Do not lose your compassion that you shared about these children, as you are making a difference for the better of many children!

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