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A black and white dog looking into the camera.

Therapy, Service, and Emotional Support Animals – What Are the Differences?

Animals are an intrinsic part of the human experience, providing joy and comfort to their owners, capable of lending support during hard times. But some animals are trained to perform specific tasks or services for different people, depending on their needs – some simply provide comfort and affection at home, while some boost morale in a therapy session, or help their owner safely cross the road and maneuver public areas.
Two adults carrying a child.

How to Support Your Loved One in Their Gender Expression

It’s important to understand that someone’s gender identity and sexual identity are two different concepts. Gender identity is the personal sense of one’s own gender, while sexual identity is a person’s conception of their sexuality and who they are attracted to. You may feel uncomfortable about the way your loved one is choosing to express their gender, or maybe you don’t understand it. You may worry about the struggles they will face or worry about them being bullied or harassed by others. Here’s some tips on how you can support your loved one.
A person smiling with both hands on their chest.

A Foster Mom’s Gratitude List

When I became a foster parent, I had some grandiose mission statements about what I would do, how I would help, and the way in which I would serve vulnerable youth… but I look back now, seven years later, and see I had it all wrong. Well-intentioned, but wrong.
A person's hand on another persons' shoulder.

Walking Alongside Birth Families

Families do not set out to put their child in foster care but simply are in a situation that makes it untenable to maintain parenting safely and confidently. People often look at a foster youth and think “those poor kids.” That thought, although maybe well-intentioned, breeds contempt for loved ones. When we reframe the way we look at why a child has entered care, we can be better equipped to care for the youth, and in turn, learn to walk alongside birth families.
An adult holding a child's hand.

Dear Foster Parents, Give Them a Chance

It was Christmas Eve, 2016. The snow was coming down outside the Social Services office where my foster kiddo and I sat. A big storm was on its way, and I was nervously sitting in a dim meeting room, waiting for this sweet angel’s birth mother to join us for the first time. My foster youth was snuggled in a warm blanket with me, snoozing away. Mom was already 25 minutes late. The air hung nervously as my mind raced with negative thoughts and emotions, asking myself how was I going to get home in this snow?
An adult woman holding open a book with a child sitting in front of the adult reading the book.

Child Abuse Books Reading List

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Here at Nexus Family Healing, our employees, therapists, and foster parents continuously work with youth who have experienced different types of trauma, which often include abuse or neglect. We’ve compiled a list of books that speak about child abuse and trauma that may be fitting for children of different ages. 
Child looking out a window.

Understanding Childhood Trauma

You may have heard phrases such as “childhood trauma” or “traumatic experience”. But what really is trauma? And how does it affect us? Unfortunately, childhood trauma is incredibly common as one in four children in our community will experience a traumatic event before the age of 16.

Childhood Trauma Is Not Just a Mental Health Problem

Exposure to continuous trauma causes the body’s alarm system to be easily triggered, releasing stress hormones that interfere with reasoning and activate that flight, fight, or freeze response. Children cannot learn or get along with friends or family members when living in a constant state of fight, flight or freeze. Rather, their goal is to survive.
Young woman sitting outside next to a tree with her head in her hand, looking depressed.

It’s Spring – So Why Aren’t You Happy?

Over the past several years humanity has learned how to become resilient in isolation. Many of our face-to-face interactions and relationships were severed during COVID and as a result, we have developed long-term habitual loneliness. So how do we recover? To state it simply, a first step is "do then feel".
Emergency kit materials

Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Your Family’s Mental and Physical Health

Natural and man-made disasters in recent news can cause stress, especially for children. As a parent, it’s important to remember that your reactions to these disasters can impact the way your child views the world around them. Remain calm, give yourself time to process and create a plan that works for your family.