Lisa Thrives

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As an 11-year-old, Lisa was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend, and was removed from her home by Child Protective Services. She was placed in a foster home, but because she’d been cutting herself, her foster parents and the psychiatrist she was seeing at the time were concerned for her safety. Lisa was placed in a residential treatment center, whose staff has special expertise with children who cut themselves. There’s no one cause that leads someone to injure themselves. Self-injury is usually the result of an inability to cope in healthy ways with psychological pain. Lisa had a hard time regulating, expressing or understanding her emotions. The center’s psychiatrist said that Lisa was feeling worthless, lonely and rejected.

Two years later Lisa was welcomed into in a PCHAS foster home. Her foster parents were concerned because Lisa was withdrawn and suffered from bouts of deep depression, but they provided her structure, stability and love. PCHAS began supporting these first-time foster parents long before they welcomed Lisa into their home. They attended special classes for foster parents, in which they learned effective methods for helping children heal from neglect and abuse. PCHAS also surrounded the foster parents with a community of care, including a support group of foster parents and a faithful case manager. By the time they were called to become Lisa’s foster parents, their case manager knew them well.  She assured them that she would be with them every step of this journey of love. And she was.

Over the course of her first year, she made significant progress. She joined the basketball team, and won the “most valuable player” award. Her foster parents attended all her basketball games, and the night that she won the award, they were so proud! A naturally gifted student who especially enjoys math and science, Lisa eventually brought her grades up from C’s and D’s to A’s and B’s. She was on the honor roll! She knew her foster parents would be thrilled with her progress in school and she beamed when she showed them her report card.

Lisa still has scars from her days as a “cutter.” She also has nightmares from the years of sexual abuse she suffered in the past. She is grateful to her PCHAS foster parents, who provided love, hope and healing during one of the darkest times of her life. Once so fragile, Lisa exceeded all their expectations. She cannot imagine what her life would have been like without them.

Without you, our supporters, we would not be able to do the work that we do. Our clients and our hardworking staff members thank you from the bottom of their hearts. You allow us to extend compassion and hope to a child in need. Your support will enable PCHAS to connect more children like Lisa with loving foster parents. Thank you!