In addition to being Pride Month, June is Reunification Month, a time to recognize the efforts of social workers and caring individuals who help families stay together. In honor of Reunification Month, we’re sharing a few happy stories that have come from the hard work and dedication of our staff. This story comes from our boy’s group home, Putnam Place.
“DJ” was a resident at Putnam Place for nearly two years. When he first moved in, his goal was to reunify with his mother. Clinical case manager Rachel made numerous attempts to engage with DJ’s mother to start working on their reunification, but these efforts were unsuccessful. After a few months, DJ’s goal was changed to have him live in a different planned permanent living arrangement. Despite this goal change, DJ continued to have visits with his mother and younger brother for quite a while.
After his goal was changed, DJ mentioned to Putnam Place staff that he’d like to have more contact with his father, who had re-married and had two younger children. Rachel reached out to DJ’s father and step-mother, who were receptive to engaging with her and having more contact with DJ. This initial contact lead to a successful trip the family took to South Carolina for Thanksgiving.
After that, DJ’s visits with his dad and step-mom were going well but DJ himself was encountering some trouble. He reacted negatively when his step-mom started setting healthy boundaries with him around his behavior. So Rachel and other CFCS staff reached out to our partners at Plummer Youth Promise to think about solutions for DJ. He had expressed that he wanted to get a job, which CFCS supported – a job would provide DJ with an appropriate amount of structure and responsibility – so together, CFCS and Plummer came up with a game plan to get DJ the proper documentation he needed to get a job.
Once this plan was set, things took a turn for the better. DJ and his mentor at Putnam, Jose, successfully worked with DJ’s mom to get him his documentation. After DJ landed a new job, he made an appointment for himself to start going to therapy. And best of all, earlier this year, DJ moved in with his dad and step-mom!
DJ’s amazing growth would not have happened without Rachel and Jose supporting him and the other administrative and milieu staff at Putnam encouraging him. DJ will have bumps in the road, no doubt, but his family is giving him the space and permission he needs to move forward in his life. This is a big win for DJ! The staff at Putnam Place are so happy to see him headed for a brighter future.