From a young age, Rob was thrilled with adventure. He climbed the highest structure at the playground. He rode his bike as far as he could. He pushed the limits. Unfortunately, adventuresome is not the main descriptor of Rob’s childhood. He was also the victim of abuse.
It wasn’t until Rob was a teenager that the abuse was discovered and we became involved in his life. We sought to bring safety and stability into his life by placing him into a loving foster family. Rob still had an adventurous spirit, but having been without the type of adult role models who could nurture that spirit in a healthy way, Rob often acted out in ways that were unsafe.
In addition to supporting Rob and his foster family with 24/7 on call support, the CEDARS team was able to give Rob some extra structure to his days by providing him with a safe environment where he could develop critical thinking skills, self-esteem, as well as working toward his educational goals.
Like any teen, Rob wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of spending time outside of school in a structured environment with adult supervision where time was set aside for homework and tutoring. He would rather have been with his friends. But we knew this would be the best environment for Rob to grow and develop at that point in his life.
At CEDARS we believe that a child’s future is shaped by caring adults. No matter the situation they are in, the compassionate support and love of just one caring adult can offer them the chance to believe in themselves.
CEDARS staff got to know Rob and built a healthy relationship with him. They listened to him when he expressed his feelings about schoolwork and were able to share with him the positive things that would happen if he put effort into his studies.
It might seem simple, but sometimes youth in Rob’s situation don’t feel heard. Just by listening to Rob and talking with him on his level, he began to understand that those adults cared about him.
Now Rob knows that he has the support of caring adults in both his foster parents and CEDARS staff. Because of that, we know his future looks bright.