We had about an hour’s notice, but we were prepared, we had a bed, a cot, some clothes, and some other basics. What we weren’t so prepared for was just how little some kids arrive with.
William was 12 years old when he first entered OzChild’s specialised foster care program, Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO). He had spent the previous nine years in out-of-home care which included 17 different placements.
Before he began the TFCO program, William would often refuse to attend school and stay up late watching TV and playing video games. He was often angry and would act out and had little trust in adults.
William was placed with TFCO carers Phil* and Jan* who had professional experience supporting young people and managing challenging behavior. Phil and Jan helped William to settle into a routine which was crucial in bringing some stability to his life. With four children of their own Phil and Jan’s kids quickly formed a good relationship with William, giving him a sense of family and belonging.
William began working with the TFCO team which meant he had regular sessions with an individual therapist, skills coach, and teacher. The team members met regularly with William individually and engaged him in techniques and activities to help him manage and improve his behaviour.
With the stability of having a caring home and the support of the TFCO team, William began to show signs of improved behaviour both at home and school.
As he continued to progress through the program, his school teachers and carers began to see enormous change. William was starting to enjoy going to school, he opened up about his past, and also discovered a love of drawing which gave him a new, creative outlet.
After 22 months in the Treatment Foster Care Oregon program, new carers were found for William and a transition to his new home began.
A party was held to celebrate his graduation from the program. The TFCO team, his teachers, school aids, carers, and the carers’ families were all there to celebrate with him. William chose the food and the music for the party and gave a speech in front of everyone.
Although it has not been an easy journey, William’s progress has been remarkable since being placed in the TFCO program and he continues to show positive signs with his new carers.
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