Impact Story: The Andersen Siblings
Oftentimes, youth that are placed into foster care have siblings that are also in need of placement. Alternative Family Services (AFS) strives to place siblings in the same foster home as it is essential for their emotional and psychological wellbeing. This was especially true for the “Andersen” kids where keeping the four siblings together made a big difference in how they adapted in their foster home.
A few years ago, the Andersen* parents were reported to Child Protective Services due to abuse and neglect. AFS assessed the placement needs and was able to rapidly identify and place the four siblings, ages 6, 8, 10 and 12, together in a home with Ms. Moore*, a compassionate and experienced AFS resource parent.
The kids arrived at Ms. Moore’s home scared, malnourished and traumatized. For the duration of their lives the siblings had only lived in an abusive environment. None of the children had ever attended school or really knew what it was like to be loved by an adult – they only ever really had each other.
AFS worked in tandem with Ms. Moore to design a plan that best suited each child’s unique needs and would help their unique personalities flourish. Individualized case plans for school were created, mental health support was implemented, and the children explored new experiences and found new interests in sports and art. Together, Ms. Moore and their AFS caseworker took the kids to school, shuttled them to extracurricular activities and nurtured and supported their mental, physical and emotional health needs.
Today, all four children are thriving, happy and loved. They are soon entering permanent guardianship with Ms. Moore and will remain in her care until they are adults. The AFS caseworker said, “Working with this family has been inspiring and a wonderful tribute to the amazing work of the AFS team.”