From the time Sam* was born, he has had to struggle with little parental guidance.
Sam’s mother, Ivana*, suffers from post-traumatic stress and has a lengthy history of being involved in abusive relationships. Growing up in an abusive home, Ivana suffered emotional and psychological damage, and what she could give Sam emotionally was quite limited.
Dan*, Sam’s father, has been involved in crime for most of his life. Despite the little time he has spent with Sam, Dan feels very attached to Sam. He insists on knowing how Sam is progressing and has found an open ear at the WIZO Raya Jaglom DCC.
The staff at the DCC understands that Dan is within his parental rights to receive all information about his son, but this has also created a challenging situation of how to deal with Dan and his excessive phone calls.
When Sam was first enrolled at the DCC, Ivana did not understand the importance of consistent attendance, which caused Sam to be absent from DCC several times a week. This inconsistency put Sam at a disadvantage. His developmental milestones such as social skills, walking and speech were below standard in comparison to other toddlers his age. He played alone and would cry frequently.
The DCC social worker Michelle, assigned to Sam and his family, was motivated to work with Sam, Ivana and Dan despite what seemed to be an impossible situation. For the past 6 years at DCC, Michelle’s past experience in dealing with families in crises had served her well. She presented the case to a specialized forum that created a plan to help Sam and his family. Through weekly meetings with Ivana, she learned the skills she needed to ensure Sam’s regular attendance at the DCC. Dan was dealt with patiently, and given boundaries around his frequent phone calls. Once Sam’s attendance was under control, he was assigned a speech therapist to help him close his linguistic gaps. In addition to improving his speech, the sensory motor room presented the perfect setting for Sam and the staff to work towards improving his physical development and social skills.
In September, Sam will be moving onto a municipal kindergarten. Thanks to the teamwork of the WIZO, staff, daycare manager, and social worker, Sam will have the best opportunities possible when he enters the mainstream school system. Thanks to WIZO’s unique services, Sam has a support system behind him allowing him to look towards a much better and brighter future.
*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality