I was introduced to this young woman last year who had an infant in foster care. During the first few visits, she just cuddled, fed, and changed the child and spent a lot of the time crying.
This client was only able to see her child for small periods of time so when I reinforced the need for her to spend more time with her child and help her with development activities such as tummy time or reading to her, she became upset. She said through her tears “I only get 3 hours a week with her so I want to just cuddle her and bond!”
Over the next couple of weeks, I gently but firmly suggested she do Tummy Time and /or read to her child because it will benefit the child, help strengthen their bond and help increase her visit time, she reluctantly agreed to do Tummy Time.
After a few more weeks she excitedly said “Oh my goodness Tummy Time is helping her and it’s fun for me too!”
These visits were happening in a public setting so mom wasn’t comfortable “talking” to the baby or reading to her but she did continue to do Tummy Time. But once our visits were moved to a more private setting, the mom truly blossomed and she would read, talk, and did a fantastic job just bonding and parenting with her child. These visits eventually included the baby’s father as well.
One of the goals she needed to accomplish was to get her personal documentation in order. I was able to help her get all of the records she needed and she was so proud when she was able to get that ID. Frankly, I was proud of her too.
This client went from a sad, timid, confused young mom to a confident, happy mom in the space of 4 months. Soon, I was removed because she was able to do unsupervised visits and overnights, and only a couple of months after, the family was reunified.
This client send me a handwritten note thanking me for all I had done. I felt I had not done much other than being her cheerleader and developing a relationship with her that allowed her to trust me enough to go through the process. But I believe I made a difference because I listened to her, was firm when needed, prodded when required, and cheered for this family until they reached the finish line.