Mary, Henry, Brandon, and Brittany

Shortly after welcoming Brittany and Brandon into their home, Mary and Henry quickly realized the significant needs the children had.

They learned about an early life of abuse and neglect while the siblings had been living in another state. Having never been to the doctor, often homeless living out a tent under a bridge and never experiencing a home environment, Brittany and Brandon were struggling with a wide range of emotional and behavioral challenges.

When the phone call came in the middle of the night, Mary and Henry didn’t hesitate to act. They drove a thousand miles to get to their three-year-old niece and five-year-old nephew. Something had to be done; the children’s parents were going to jail and the children needed a home.

As they drove through the night Mary and Henry had no idea what condition Brittany and Brandon would be in when they got there, nor did they know how everyone’s lives were going to change over the next three months. All they could think about was that the children needed them.

Shortly after welcoming Brittany and Brandon into their home, Mary and Henry quickly realized the significant needs the children had.

They learned about an early life of abuse and neglect while the siblings had been living in another state. Having never been to the doctor, often homeless living out a tent under a bridge and never experiencing a home environment, Brittany and Brandon were struggling with a wide range of emotional and behavioral challenges.

They then came to Sinnissippi Centers for help. The family’s first contact was with Krysta, who immediately recognized the indications of severe trauma and abuse.

The children were having a hard time sleeping, hiding food, overreacting to small noises, and fearful of making mistakes. As the days wore on, the mood swings, nightmares and outbursts continued to get worse, perhaps because the children finally felt they were in a safe place. Mary and Henry realized they were dealing with children who seemed to have experience profound trauma, the extent of which may never be fully known.

Krysta enlisted the assistance of Sara, a Sinnissippi Centers’ Early Childhood Mental health clinician, who provides home based services. Visiting the family within days, Sara provided assessment, support, education, and therapy to the children. She also helped Mary and Henry understand the effects of trauma on young children and how that is displayed in their mood, attention, ability to think clearly, and ability to trust. Together they found ways to nurture the children while teaching them ways to manage their overwhelming feelings.

Krysta and Sara enlisted the help of Irene with the Community That Cares Project’s Family Care Coordinator Program. Irene spent many hours helping the family find other important community resources such as medical care, legal help and collaboration to manage the emerging threat of the parents returning to get these children.

In all, 17 different organizations came together quickly and efficiently through the linkage already established within Sinnissippi and the Community That Cares System of Care to provide immediate help and protection for these children and the family who so lovingly opened their home.

Three months later, the story of Brittany and Brandon has changed dramatically. Having been welcomed into the family of Aunt Mary and Uncle Henry, Brittany and Brandon have a home, are sleeping peacefully in their beds, have enough food and feel cared for and protected.

The schools have welcomed them and with a safe place, Brittany and Brandon are adjusting well to their new environment and learning new ways of trusting and getting their needs met.

It all started with a phone call in the middle of the night, loving family members and a community of caring professionals ready to help change Brittany’s and Brandon’s lives.

Their story illustrates how the love and generosity of one family can make a huge difference in the lives of two children. It also demonstrates how a system of care works to promote the optimal development, health and wellness of children and families in our community.

Sinnissippi Centers, Inc. | Copyright © 2015 | All Rights Reserved

Designed & Developed by MorningStar Media Group