At the end of January 2023, one of the children I work with was hospitalized due to mental
health concerns. The hospital was an hour drive from the office. It had been snowing for much
of the day, and was still snowing during my drive to the hospital. The only thing I was sure of
was that I needed to get there safely. It was at the hospital, that I found myself relying on my
knowledge, but more than anything on what my instincts were telling me. Sitting in the ER, the
foster mother, was struggling and began to cry as she told me more about what had been going
on with this child. My first thought was to give the foster mother a hug, let her know that this
wasn’t going to be easy, but that we would work together for what was best for this child. Later
that evening the hospital determined this child was able to go home safely. After their release, I
drove the hour home at around 9pm. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well that night thinking
about the events of the day and what lay ahead.
The next day intake with outpatient mental health went well, and the following evening I got to
see both of the foster kids on my caseload at that home. When I first walked into the home that
evening, the child who had been in crisis the previous evening saw me, smiled, and said “You
again!”. Just the tone of the that child’s voice told me that they realized I was there to help.
As I have gotten to see this sibling pair at home, and at school, I’ve found myself smiling every
time I think about them. This sibling set has even asked to me to play with them outside when I
come to visit at home. Just seeing their smiles, hearing their laughter, and seeing them be kids
is a good reminder of what can happen when a community comes together to support foster
kids, especially when they have significant needs. The foster mother has sent me pictures of the
children’s artwork, and I know I will miss seeing them after the adoption is finalized and I am no
longer able to visit. Having seen the positive changes in this sibling pair’s life has been
rewarding. I made a difference in the life of a young man by being there for him.