Six-year-old Ana* became a KidsVoice client when she was removed from an abusive family. Her parents were arrested for repeatedly locking Ana in her room without food or access to a bathroom. Since she was not enrolled in school, there were no teachers or nurses to see that she was covered in bruises.

Understanding the negative impact that significant trauma has on a child, our goal for Ana was to ensure three things: a nurturing environment, expedited access to a therapist, and prompt enrollment in school. 

Ana was placed with a supportive, first-time foster family. There, she experienced many new things. She especially loved trick or treating. 

After Ana expressed interest in learning to swim like her new neighborhood friends, KidsVoice assisted with setting up aquatic therapy to address her mental and physical health while giving her the confidence she needed in the pool. Wait times for such programs have been especially long due to staffing issues across the sector, but KidsVoice was able to ensure Ana could begin right away.

During this time, Ana was reconnected with her grandmother, whom her parents had not allowed her to see. Recognizing the importance of family and fostering connections, KidsVoice encouraged frequent calls between Ana and her grandma—and even a birthday visit. Ana began to express her wish to live with her grandma. KidsVoice helped to make that happen.

Changes in placements can be disruptive for a child who has experienced trauma and may lead to setbacks in their mental health, so KidsVoice helped establish a transition plan. While awaiting the home visits, inspections, and evaluations necessary to place Ana in her grandma’s home, we helped ensure that the aquatic therapy sessions and in-school support established for Ana would continue seamlessly when she moved.

Though the pandemic caused many delays in the social service sector, with KidsVoice’s persistence, Ana’s case was prioritized and she was soon able to move in with her grandma.

Ana still visits with her former foster parents, as well as the friends she made while living there. For a child so recently isolated in the world, Ana now has a web of support that grows every day.

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