This morning I sat in a Core Team meeting for a boy in our care. Core Team meetings are where we bring together the child and everyone involved in the child's care to discuss how well they are making progress against their goals. The child has a full voice in talking about the goals of treatment, what is working, what isn't helping, whey they want to improve on next, and the challenges they are facing. Around the table, sit people from his or her cottage treatment team, occupational therapy, mental health therapy, psychiatry, nursing, spiritual life, and social work.
The boy in Core Team today, I'll call him Adam, has struggled to overcome multiple addictions. He also battled untreated depression, conduct disorder, and aggressive behavior. As I sat in team, I listened to each person on his team, in turn, say, "I am so proud of you." Adam is consistent with his chemical dependency care and dedicated to recovery. When some of the other boys in the cottage were being disruptive, he chose to step away. He has been keeping his room clean, showering, reading, and staying physically active. He checks with staff when he is unsure of next steps. He laughs. He has even started mentoring a child who has recently come into the cottage, helping the newbie understand schedules, meals, etc.
So what is there to talk about in Core Team? Soon, Adam will be starting to return home for a day or two at a time, working to a full reunion with his family. It has been a long time since they were all together. As is the case with children who develop addictions, Adam's problems came from his genetics and his environment. Both his parents face lifelong issues with their own addictions, which led to abuse and neglect and brought Adam to foster care as a young child.
While Adam has been healing at the Ranch, Mom and Dad have each addressed their own addictions. They separated from each other, went through treatment, and Dad lived in a Recovery Home for a period to solidify his commitment to sobriety. They are now building a healthy, sober home. But, Adam has never known his parents sober. It is a complete unknown. To him, it is about returning "home" to strangers. And, he is still learning about himself in the recovery world.
Core Team focused on what Adam needs to have in his emotional "tool box" as he returns home. His Ranch Aftercare specialist has arranged care in his home community, and family counseling will continue. Each time Adam returns to the Ranch from his time at home, he will discuss the challenges and develop additional coping skills. It is my prayer that the Core Team will continue to say, "I am so proud of you" to Adam and his parents.
Hearing Adam plan so carefully for his next steps with his parents, reminded me that the mission of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is "to help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ." As great as the Ranch is, we all know each child years to be safe and loved within their own family. Please pray for Adam and his folks.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
You can raise funds for your congregation, Bible study group, women's group, or youth group, AND provide hope and healing for a child at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, by hosting a Honey Sunday.
For decades, congregations across the United States have held Honey Sundays. We invite you to join them — and bring God’s love to a child by organizing a Honey Sunday fundraiser.
Honey Sunday keeps the focus on the work of our Lord, your church, and the Ranch. And we make it easy for you to do by sending everything you’ll need. We'll even mail the honey directly to people's homes, so you don't have to worry about distribution.
To request your Honey Sunday materials, fill out the form here!
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