Casey*, a resilient 14-year-old boy, had bounced in and out of 19 homes in his short lifetime. When he arrived at Nexus-Indian Oaks, he began the incredibly tough task of yet again, opening up, trusting people, and reliving his trauma. Through the ups and downs in treatment his smile and his big heart really stood out to our staff. He had so much love to give, but he didn’t have any family in his life and it was breaking his heart.
Casey shared with us that he had a childhood friend with whom he lost touch with over the years and he missed greatly. He said the two became friends when Casey was there for him after bullies were being mean to his friend for being in a wheelchair. Casey told us how his friend’s family would include him in in family events, take him for ice cream, and make him feel loved. He wondered what happened to them.
While Casey was in treatment at Nexus-Indian Oaks, we received a call from the friend's mom inquiring about him. The family had never forgotten about Casey and after hearing about his most recent failed placement, the mom was determined to reconnect.
Phone calls turned into visits and eventually the family started talking of fostering and possibly adopting Casey. The transition process began. Our staff, Casey, and the family all worked hard in therapy, created safety plans, and began Casey’s transition from Nexus-Indian Oaks to his new family - people he called mom, brothers, and a sister! The transition, while exciting, has not been an easy one. The initial excitement wore off and anxiety set in for Casey. Will this placement be like all the others? Will they get tired of me? Will they be able to handle me at my worst? Boundaries were broken, trust lost, and it led to many difficult conversations. Nexus-Indian Oaks stepped in and provided the family and Casey what they needed to move forward: facilitating counseling sessions, providing resources, and conducting plenty of spur of the moment check-ins.
A True Family Experience
Casey’s resilience began to shine once again! His mom recently noted "Things have been getting markedly better. We have been having more good days than bad which is good. Casey has been consistently working at the horse ranch my friend owns and he loves the horses. I just wanted to thank you again for all your care and concern for not just him but for me as well. I really appreciate you all."
Casey continues to make progress. He is smiling more and enjoying the small parts of being a teenager outside of residential care. Riding a four-wheeler, taking the dog for a walk, getting his braces – and being part of a family.
*Name and some details have been changed to protect privacy.