Our 10 year old daughter, Lili, started acting out in school and at home, to the point the school counselor referred me to Children’s Services of Roxbury’s Community Service Agency program. CSR assigned an Intensive Care Coordinator to help me access and coordinate all the services that were available, and a Family Partner was assigned to help me navigate those services and learn how to do so for myself in the future.
Things were gradually getting better, but then one day I received a call from the school: Lili made some very bad choices that were a great concern to the school administration. Embarrassed and ashamed, Lili told the school that she did not want to go home because she thought that I would beat her (which is common in our culture), and she feared for her safety. The school called the police, who questioned Lili and then took her back to school; and instead of remaining in school, Lili ran away. The Family Partner, who was from the same continent as I am, was understanding and integral in helping me work within the system. Together, we went to the precinct to file a missing person report. I was wary, but the police were able to find Lili. When we were reunited, there was no physical punishment. I was trying a new way.
The school incident caused the school to file a report with the MA Department of Children and Families. The agency investigated, but because we already had services in place with an Intensive Care Coordinator and a Family Partner, they could see that I was addressing my family’s issues and getting help. DCF closed the case. We are still working with Children’s Services of Roxbury today. Although I still have many obstacles in my path and Lili still has many issues that need to be addressed, crises that once overwhelmed my family are less frequent and more manageable. With the help of my CSR Team, I am adjusting to the place I have chosen to build a new life for myself and my children. It’s still a long road, but I feel the momentum, and see how far I’ve already come, with nothing more than a helping hand from one who has been down this road, and is a reminder that it can be done.
I am just one example of someone who is becoming a successful member of the community as a direct result of the services provided by CSR. When my family was new to this community and struggling, CSR gave us guidance and support. When I needed child care for my children so I could go to school/find and keep a job, they provided it. When I needed counseling to help get me on the right track, CSR provided it. Providing a wide variety of services that cover all the needs one person has is referred to as wrap-around services. It is an appropriate name because it’s like caring arms wrapping you in a big hug and giving you the tools, support and encouragement you need to become independent and a contributing member of the community."
-Robin*, a Children's Services of Roxbury Client
*Name changed to protect client privacy