I starting working with Dan during the last quarter of 2020. When I first reached out to him, Dan was very hesitant to begin working with me. I explained our agency’s Advance-In-Home (AIH) program to him and we set up our next meeting. Once I shared with Dan the “Consent to Participate” Form I explained to him that the program is voluntary. Dan was surprised and said he was under the impression that it was required. I asked him if he wanted to continue the program and he seemed hesitant but agreed to schedule another meeting for the following week.
We continued to meet each week and discuss different parenting topics, until one week we started the meeting by talking about how he was doing. He talked about his depression and anxiety–and how he was struggling. We ended up talking about mental health and available mental health resources for the entire visit. After the visit he was a lot more open to our visits and discussing different parenting topics.
Dan later explained to me that before our conversation about mental health resources, no one has ever really listened to his perspective on the struggles he experiences, which made him feel that everyone in child welfare was trying to keep his child from him. It makes me really feel like I am making a difference to be there to provide him with greater access to more resources and help him improve both his life skills and parenting skills.