ONE FAMILY'S STORY

By
ONE FAMILY'S STORY

Sam* was received by Children In Families and placed into a foster family at the age of four. He had been rescued from a situation of abuse and severe neglect. When Children In Families stepped in to help, Sam was withdrawn and extremely isolated. He used no words to communicate, was very afraid of people, and was not yet toilet trained. He did not know how to engage in any kind of meaningful play, entertaining himself by sitting alone and running his hands through the dirt. The neighbors thought he was crazy and asked the CIF staff and Sam’s foster family how they thought they could help such a boy. They did not believe he was capable of learning and could not understand why this family would take him in. 

Thankfully, this dear family did not listen to their neighbors, and their acceptance of Sam was the first step in his transformation. Their love and care began to break down the isolating wall that had been built up around Sam’s injured heart. He began to trust and engage with his family members, though he still was very reserved with strangers and would often run to hide when other people were around. Sam had been with his foster family for over a year before the ABLE program began providing services in February 2013. Sam was one of the first children to be evaluated and provided with regular visits. ABLE’s physiotherapist and Community Rehabilitation Team staff member provided instruction and resources to the family to help Sam work on his communication and play skills, and their regular visits helped Sam to become more comfortable with interacting with people outside his family as well. 

Now Sam is excited and comes running to participate when he sees the ABLE staff arriving at his home for a visit. He is engaging much more with his foster family and with neighbors. He is continually learning new words and enjoys playing with toys along with other children. Sam is now six years old and, thanks to the love of his foster family and the intervention of the ABLE program, he is able to go to school. Even his foster family had hardly dared to hope that he would be ready for this step. 

Wonder what the neighbors think now? 

 * not his real name

ONE FAMILY'S STORY