The healing power of family
February 29, 2012
Ezra had been in care one year when he was referred to his Wendy’s Wonderful Kids caseworker. He was born prematurely at 33 weeks and was medically fragile. He was diagnosed with macrocephaly and subdural hematomas. He also had speech, large and small motor delays.
When the recruiter read Ezra’s file, things sounded grim. It seemed like he could do little more than sit up and hold a bottle. The recruiter contacted the social workers on the case to get more insight into the child and begin her case review and assessment. The conversations left her with many questions. Not only were his assessments not up to date, but few therapeutic services had been put into place. The social workers seemed to not have much hope about his case.
The recruiter was eager to get out and meet Ezra. She has a background in early childhood development and knew she would understand more about his case once she saw him. She quickly realized that he was not being properly represented by the workers on the case. Yes, he had delays and would need medical supervision, but developmentally he was much better then what was written in his file.
Knowing that early intervention is vital when working with children with special needs, the recruiter began to advocate that he be evaluated for special services. She also contacted agencies that she thought might have families who could meet his needs and help him reach his true potential. One family in particular stood out. She was a single mom and an ER nurse. She was young and had a lot of energy. Shortly after that, the match was made. Ezra’s new family quickly jumped into his medical treatment and began to work with his developmental delays.
Within weeks of moving in with his new family, there was an enormous improvement. Ezra began to talk more then he ever had, and his large motor skills showed improvement. In fact, he showed so much improvement that by the time he was evaluated for services, he didn’t need many of them.
Today, Ezra is a happy, healthy little boy with very few delays. This case really shows the importance of having a program like WWK and the impact of child-focused recruitment. He could have spent years in the system because his situation was being misrepresented. Without early intervention practices, the minor delays he did have could have become worse. Without a family to work one-on-one with him and advocate for his medical needs, his medical condition may not have improved.
As his Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter says, “This story is a true testament to the healing power of family.”