Thursday, February 19, 2009

Success Story: Divided Family Comes Home

Within the walls of First Place, and in the lives of the families we touch, successes happen every day. As often as we can, First Place will share these successes with you. This is what we would like to share today.

In 2007 First Place began our Family Unification Program to assist incarcerated mothers rebuild their lives and regain their children. For mother of two Jalea* this program came just at the right time.

In January 2008 Jalea was rejoining society without any means to gain housing, employment or reuniting with her two children in foster-care. Stable housing and stable employment are two key components of being able to reunite with children who have been displaced during incarceration.

Jalea's first step to getting her children back was calling First Place.

“Jalea had months of work ahead of her to meet her requirements to the court system and the department of social and health services,” said Ms. Charlene Bowen, a case manager at First Place. “She also had personal goals of attending classes to achieve her GED and learning how to prepare a better life for her children.”

After working with First Place staff for over 6 months to attend all her meetings, study for her tests and gain housing in a First Place facility Jalea become a mother again when her 18-month-old son came home.

“Now over a year after beginning with our Family Unification Program Jalea is one week away from attaining her GED and is preparing for her next stage as a student and a mother,” said Ms. Charlene. Her second child, a 4-year-old daughter is coming home to her in the beginning of March.

* for privacy sake client names have been changed.

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