This winning story about our staff going above and beyond their role was received during our 2016 summer story contest by Dan Reusser, Intensive In-Home Therapist for KVC Kansas.
A family was referred to KVC due to concerns about the ability of the mother to care for her son who had been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. For those who may not know, autism refers to a group of complex disorders in brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. The boy had an Individualized Education Program (IEP) at school, but the mother was reluctant to seek any further services such as individual therapy or specialized support due to the fear of stigma.
I worked with the mother to explain her son’s diagnosis and inform her how extra services could benefit the family. Thinking about her son’s future, she agreed to apply for services through the Community Developmental Disability Organization (CDDO). Her son began to receive these services and they helped him greatly.
We progressed through our in-home therapy sessions and I felt glad to have helped this mother and her son. I thought my job was close to complete, but the mother needed my help to get connected with additional resources. Due to the positive and supportive relationship we had built, she contacted me several weeks later because her car wouldn’t start and she was missing work due to lack of transportation. She couldn’t afford the part needed to fix her car, so I used a community resource to help. The CarePortal, an innovative program of the Global Orphan Project, connects child welfare workers with churches in the community. Workers bring attention to the specific needs of children and families in the community, and the churches are invited to respond and fill those needs as they are able.
I submitted a request through the CarePortal to request funds for the needed car part. The CarePortal sent that out to a group of churches that were in close proximity to the family. A generous local church quickly responded with the funds, and I went to purchase the part at the auto store. The mother was so grateful that the CarePortal churches and I were able to help her. Not only is her son doing well in school and his supportive services, but the mother was able to keep her job and continue providing for her family. The work I do is very rewarding and I’m glad to have the opportunity to help families be successful.
Everyone can do something to help local children and families in crisis. If you’re part of a church or faith community, consider enrolling in the CarePortal. On an individual level, one of the most profound ways you can help is by becoming a foster or adoptive parent. If fostering or adopting doesn’t work for you, consider these other options: sponsor a fundraising event, make a donation, volunteer your time and talents, subscribe to our blog (in right sidebar) or monthly enewsletter (in the footer), or follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share our posts.