Family Story: “I no longer felt alone”

 Sanda (Mom), David 16, Anai 18 and Avil 11
 Sanda (Mom), David 16, Anai 18 and Avil 11

Sandra remarked after Wraparound came into her family’s life.

Sandra first heard of Wraparound when her oldest child was having difficulties and needed services. “I wasn’t sure how to help her. I was scared,” reported Sandra. Through Wraparound, Sandra was connected to resources and helped her daughter connect to mental health services. Sandra goes on to say how Wraparound helped her learn how to listen to her kids and discover their different needs. Things improved with her oldest, but Sandra says that it was domestic violence and her own drug addiction that brought her back to Wraparound at second time.

Her oldest son was struggling in school, getting into trouble at home and in the community. Sandra remembers that due to her own drug use, she was not able to follow through with services that would help her family. Eventually, CPS became involved and the kids were no longer in the home. The support of Wraparound gave her the courage to seek out services for herself and make it possible for her children to come home. “I thought all was lost,” she said. “The Wraparound team told me they believed in me, that they would stand by me. It was scary at first but I started to trust them. I wanted to change things for the kids but they encouraged me to do it for me as well”.  Sandra says she felt written off by most people because of her struggle with addiction, but not by Wraparound. “It was what I needed to move forward,” she continues.

“I was able to get out of my destructive relationship and begin to believe in myself and get stronger. I also had the support I needed to get help for my drug addiction and become more available emotionally for my kids.”

Wraparound worked with them together as a family as well as individually. Sandra remembers vividly the family meetings during visitation with the kids. “I learned how to listen to their needs, take part in their interests and learn what makes each one unique,” explained Sandra. “We had rules, like no blaming, no judging, etc. and that helped everyone feel safe. Eventually, we were able to tell each other how we feel and I began to realize how much I was learning about my kids.”

They understood the cultural differences as well. The kids learned to express themselves and feel that they too had a voice.

Wraparound made it possible for the kids to engage in services, like counseling, to assist with individual needs and struggles. Each child had a mentor, a special person that they would meet with on a regular basis. The counselors would encourage the children to make good choices. “Wraparound spent time with my daughter and she became involved and found her voice,” says Sandra.

“The kids looked forward to Wraparound and our family meetings,” Sandra goes on to say, “I also had a Parent Partner who was there for me. She would help me with anything”.  The Parent Partner attended Sandra’s court hearings and CFT meetings to advocate for her. “I no longer felt alone,” explains Sandra.

Today, the future is bright. Sandra states that Avil, age 11 is home now and doing well at home and school.  David, age 16, is working on returning home as well and Wraparound will assist once again to make his transition successful. Anai, age 18 is also home and their communication has greatly improved. The family is planning to move into a larger home. “I am so proud of all of my kids!” says Sandra.

Sandra is now working to support her family, and celebrated 2 years of sobriety this past April. She is proud to say that she can be there for her children and help them grow into caring adults. She looks forward to continued Wraparound support with her family.