Six-year-old *Hayden was more parent than child while his mom and dad struggled with severe drug addictions. Often left to care for two younger siblings, Hayden grew wary of adults and struggled with the meaning of “parent,” calling all caretakers “my moms,” “my dads.”
While in foster care, Hayden was paired with Friend Russ, who showed up to see him week after week, month after month, even when COVID-19 cut off teachers, school counselors and other supports. Building on strong bonds of trust, Russ encouraged Hayden to share difficult memories with his court-appointed therapist and to enjoy the carefree play a six-year-old deserves.
“He is a bold, amazing little kid – so smart and so resilient,” said Russ. “He’s going to get through as long as he has the support he needs.”
Because Friends commits for the long term (12+ years) – no matter what – and intentionally builds Core Assets like problem solving, perseverance/grit, and hope, we know that Hayden will get the support he needs.
We also know that Friend Russ will be a stabilizing force for Hayden’s entire family, now reunited. Jeff will be able to provide community referrals and proactive support to help Hayden’s parents avoid re-involvement in child welfare.