Jamie never wants to go through the experience of losing her children again. Thanks to your support, Highfields’ program has taught her how to keep her family together, healthy, and happy.
When Jamie lost the rights to her children four years ago, she was devastated. She was in an abusive relationship at the time, but found the courage to leave and start a new life. She met a new man, Richie, who realigned her focus on what was most important: reuniting her family.
Jamie’s five children lived in foster care until the summer of 2016 when she finally completed the steps to have them back.
“I was so happy to have everyone home,” said Jamie. “But we hadn’t been around each other for a while, and they had grown up a lot, so we needed to reconnect and get on the same page again.”
Jamie was referred to Highfields’ Family Reunification Program (FRP) which helps children adjust back into the family home from foster care. Highfields’ FRP therapists, Erin Smith and Derrick Byrd, came to her house twice a week to support the family.
“Erin and Derrick are amazing,” said Jamie. “They didn’t judge us; they just wanted to make sure our family was taken care of.”
Some of the challenges they face within the family are mental disorders and learning issues. Erin and Derrick helped Jamie establish ground rules for her children, and teach them responsibility by holding them accountable for doing of chores around the house.
They also showed Jamie games and activities to play together as a family to get to know each other on a deeper level.
“Derrick showed us different ways to play games where you write down questions that you want to know about each other, and then when you play the game you also have to answers the questions along the way,” said Jamie. “It helps us get to know each other better.”
They also reconnected by going out on family outings.
“Erin and Derrick offered to take us out as a family to the zoo and to the park,” said Jamie. “It was great to spend time doing something fun together.”
Jamie and Richie are using the tools and ideas from Erin and Derrick to strengthen their family’s bond. They are engaged to be married, and are excited to welcome another child into their family this year.
“We’ve accomplished so much through the FRP program,” said Jamie. “We communicate with each other better and have learned so much about each other. It’s a more loving and supportive home.”