Nine-year-old Marcy* was experiencing significant behavioral, attendance, and academic difficulties in school. Her parents were separated and struggled with mental health issues and substance abuse. Marcy’s mother had full custody of Marcy, but they were facing eviction. Due to these struggles, Marcy was referred to Nexus-PATH’s School-Based Targeted Case Management (SB-TCM), a strengths-based service designed to support and supplement traditional supports available in the school. SB-TCM’s goals are to enhance the student’s functioning within their home, school, and community.
Marcy hadn’t seen her father for three years. As part of his custody agreement, Marcy’s father was working to receive services for his mental health and substance abuse before Marcy could be reintegrated into his life. Marcy’s therapist recommended reintegration, but Marcy was not getting the mental health services outlined in the court order. She needed therapy to process through her past trauma, to build skills, as well as restore the relationship with her father.
When Marcy’s mother was evicted, Megan, Marcy’s case worker through SB-TCM, referred Marcy’s mother to a local homeless shelter and reconnected her to individual therapy and psychiatry to meet court-order recommendations. Marcy started attending therapy weekly and restarted her ADHD medications, which greatly benefited her behavior and focus in school.
After several months of individual therapy, Marcy’s therapist felt she was ready to reconnect with her father. Marcy’s mother was very hesitant about this due to their domestic violence history and she refused to have any contact with him. Megan collaborated with Marcy’s therapist and her parents to come up with a plan to re-integrate Marcy’s father into her life. This started with phone calls, video chats, and ultimately Megan coordinated in-person visits at the therapy office. Marcy eventually started having community visits with her father, which eventually Megan helped coordinate overnight visits in her father’s home. Marcy was delighted to rebuild her relationship with her father, although she often felt stuck in-between her parents, as they continued to have a tumultuous relationship. Since they continued to refuse contact with one another, Megan coordinated and supported all their visits together.
Unfortunately, Marcy’s parents could not agree on custody arrangements and the court had to get involved. Marcy continued to see her father regularly and her parents noticed how it was positively impacting Marcy. Megan and Marcy’s therapist continued to hold meetings for Marcy’s parents, and with time, they slowly started communicating with one another in a healthy way in person, as well as via email and text.
During this time, Marcy’s mother secured stable housing and was able to transition from the homeless shelter to an apartment. Marcy was thrilled to have her own room and get a full night’s sleep in her own bed. Marcy’s mother started her own individual therapy to work on her past trauma and started chemical dependency services to maintain her sobriety. Marcy’s father continued with his own mental health services and started attending regular AA meetings.
Increasing School and Home Performance
Marcy’s school attendance increased significantly throughout her time in the SB-TCM program. Megan and SB-TCM provided transportation, routine charts, and positive parenting strategies to Marcy and her parents. Marcy started taking her medications at school each day which helped school performance, and she eventually tested out of her Individualized Education Program (IEP) because she was now functioning at the same level as her peers. Marcy continued to receive individual therapy to work on coping skills and started family therapy with her parents. Marcy’s parents eventually agreed on a visitation schedule with one another without the courts' involvement and they started attending community outings with Marcy together, which Marcy absolutely loved.
Due to the extensive support and many resources identified and coordinated by Nexus-PATH’s School-Based Targeted Case Management, Marcy met all her goals and no longer needed our services. We’re so pleased to hear that Marcy continues to have a positive relationship with both parents and is performing well at home and at school.
*Names and other details have been changed to maintain privacy.