Ellie isn’t looking for a summer break from school. For her, the relief nursery classroom is one of the most consistent elements in her life.
Ellie is three and currently lives in a local shelter with her mom and older brother. Her mother gained custody of her children this past fall and Ellie was enrolled in the relief nursery in January of this year. Ellie has already experienced a number of traumatic events in her life, but she is thriving because her classroom experience is being customized to address her needs.
The relationship between A Family Place and Lutheran Community Services NW allows us to serve families, like Ellie’s, with complete wrap-around services that meet them where they are as a family. While A Family Place offers services for children from birth to age five, Lutheran Community Services offers assistance to families with children of all ages, including mental health, family stabilization specialists and in-home safety and reunification services.
For Ellie, the relationship between A Family Place and LCS worked like this: Because she was enrolled in the relief nursery, Ellie’s mother started receiving home visits with Ellie’s teacher. It soon became clear the family would benefit from family counseling services available through LCSNW. Following a case management meeting, Ellie, her brother and her mother all started working with a trauma-informed counselor, who is able to make adjustments to Ellie’s experience in the relief nursery based on her clinical knowledge of the family. They have also been referred to a Family Stabilization Specialist who will help them reach a very specific goal over the next few months: permanent housing. Ellie’s mother reports she never really played with her children before, but now understands the importance of daily encouragement and time.
Children like Ellie require a consistent, safe and stable place during the critical early years of their lives, with a network of support that can identify and respond to their needs before their old enough to recognize those needs themselves.
A Family Place is thrilled to provide the stability Ellie needs, at the time she needs it most.
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