Before being referred to Eckerd Kids’ Wraparound Services in Central Louisiana, Charles* was often in trouble. He had recently been expelled from his local junior high school and was attending an alternative school where he still associated himself with negative peers. Charles would often get into physical fights at school and in his neighborhood and at school despite youth being diagnosed with hemophilia.
Upon Eckerd Kids becoming involved, it was learned that Charles was being cared for by his paternal great-grandmother, Mrs. Melody King, who was dedicated to doing whatever it took to ensure Charles had a chance to be successful. It was also learned that Melody had obtained custody of Charles at the age of two, after his mother was arrested for killing his three year old brother with a kitchen skillet. Melody shared that Charles had two other siblings who were adopted by another family, as the state would not allow for her to have all three due to her health issues and recent amputation of one of her legs. Charles’ father worked offshore as a cook and was not a major part of his life.
During the beginning stages of the wraparound process, Charles shared his goal of becoming a welder when he graduated from school. At the time, though, this goal seemed out of reach because Charles was failing his classes. Charles wanted to get back to his local school so he could receive his high school diploma and become self-sufficient.
Charles was provided a counselor, youth support, and an Independent Life Skills worker, as well as team members from within the community through the wraparound program. Charles became active in his local church and started participating in their brotherhood program and attending weekly services.
Throughout the program, Charles continued to learn the importance of controlling his anger, deescalating situations, and associating himself with more positive influences. Charles began to understand, that if he continued to fight, it could have a serious threat on his life, not only because of his hemophilia, but also because it would hinder his ability to achieve his goals. As Charles’s behavior began to improve he expressed a desire to earn an income. Charles’s youth support and ILSB worker assisted him in finding a part-time job.
Charles has remained dedicated to his goals, and is now in regular classes at his local high school with the hopes of entering into the welding program at a vocational college by the end of the year. Charles is also continuing to work part-time, has opened his own bank account, and is budgeting to save for his own car. Charles has increased confidence in himself and now sees he can achieve anything he puts his mind to.
*Names changed to protect youth’s identity