Two years ago, Paige* was an alcoholic, single mother who tried to end her life by running her friend’s truck into a local Asheville hotel. She was at the end of her rope, running from an abusive husband who had poured gasoline on their front porch and threatened to burn their home down with her two children inside. Over the years, the children, Katrina (age 13) and Hunter (age 8) had witnessed terrible arguments and saw their mother get beaten up several times. Imitating what they were raised with, Katrina and Hunter fought constantly. With her husband about to come home after serving time for assault, Paige was desperate and felt there was no other way out for her and the kids!

After Paige left the hospital, she was met with an eviction notice. Department of Social Services (DSS) was concerned about her mental state and threatened to take the children if she could not provide a stable, safe environment for them. With help from Eckerd Kids’ Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) team, over the next two years, Paige began to turn her life around. She and the children were relocated and Paige began attending AA meetings and counseling where she disclosed that she had a long history of abuse and alcohol was her coping mechanism. Eckerd’s IFPS team helped Paige connect to a variety of community resources that helped her slowly get back on her feet. Although her license was revoked, Paige got a job as a waitress and was able to get rides with coworkers. She even found a babysitter for her son.

Unfortunately, Katrina, her teenage daughter was not doing well. Growing up in such a volatile household was very painful and she was angry with her parents. Katrina had problems adjusting at home and in school. She is currently in CARING’s Therapeutic Foster Care program and attends Trauma Focused Counseling at CARING for Children’s ACE Outpatient Mental Health.

Thanks to the merger of Eckerd Kids and CARING for Children, the Family Preservation Team had immediate access to CARING for Children’s programs. The team is able to follow Katrina’s progress more closely. Home visits with Mom and her brother Hunter are much easier to manage with DSS and other caseworkers who are personally aware of the family’s background and journey towards healing!

Eckerd Kids’ Intensive Family Preservation Services is an in-home crisis intervention service designed to stabilize the crisis that puts a family at risk and diffuse the potential for domestic violence. IFPS helps families develop skills and connect with resources they need to handle future crisis and reduce the number of children entering foster care.

*Names changed to protect the identity of the family