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Julie, Monroe County

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10 Year Old in Wisconsin Foster Care Again

This is Abigail's third time being removed from the home. She has spent much of her life in Wisconsin foster care. She is a sweet 10-year-old with significant trauma. Unfortunately, CCR did not have a foster home in the right location to meet her needs. Thus the referring county continued its search. Following is some of the information we received about Abigail. 

All kids in Wisconsin foster care have trauma histories. 

Abigail is in good physical health and has met all her developmental milestones at an age-appropriate pace. She is in fifth grade, has an IEP, and has speech delays. Teachers describe Abigail to be outgoing, talkative, and engaging. She enjoys painting her nails, dancing, and singing. Abigail is diagnosed with ODD, PTSD, and ADHD. She takes two prescription medications for her mental health needs. Abigail has a history of depression and suicidal ideations and has been hospitalized due to suicidal ideations. She has been in several foster homes and shelters. 

At ten years old, she has excellent self-awareness, is very smart, and asks good questions. She can be charming but triggers easily without warning. On the other hand, she is curious, helpful, and aims to please.

Why she entered foster care again.

In early March, Child Protective Services Support Program received a neglect report. The reporter learned that Abigail and five other children lived in the home with their mother and her boyfriend. An officer was dispatched to the house. It was reported upon arrival that Abigail opened the door and was crying. When asked why she was crying, she said she did not want to tell the officer. The officer overheard a younger child stating that Abigail would get in trouble for answering the door.

Outdoor portrait of little girl

It was determined then that Abigail was caring for her siblings, ages seven, three, and one. Abigail reported her mother was at her older brother's game. 

Upon a search of the home, marijuana was found throughout the house. In addition, heroin was found in the mother's bedroom. All the drugs found in the home were noted to be within reach of the children.

However, she and her siblings have been removed from the home and placed in out-of-home care multiple times over many years.  

Foster parents need dependable agency support.

Abigail had a difficult transition after being removed from her mother and was running away from school and making self-harm statements before her current foster home. She has been with her present family for three weeks, and they have requested removal due to heightened behaviors, including throwing items, kicking, crying, and an inability to regulate emotions. Many of these behaviors are due to the need for one-on-one attention, medication stabilization, and therapy to resume, which is in progress. 

Abigail recently stayed with a respite provider twice and did well over both weekends. She was the only child in the home and received much-needed one-on-one attention. However, a lot of her anxiety stems from the thought of going back home and having to care for her siblings. She must be reminded to be a kid and let the adults worry about adult things. This is difficult for her.

Treatment foster care supports foster parents and kids like Abigail.

A treatment-level foster home with no other children in the house is desired. However, she will do best in a home with a parent available when she is not in school to meet her needs.

She has been in the care of many adults and had several hospital and shelter stays. In 2021 and 2022, Abigail was admitted to a behavioral hospital. She was released to her mother after both discharges. 

Abigail's mother and her boyfriend are criminally charged with child neglect. Mom is released on bond, and the boyfriend remains in custody due to a probation hold. Both deny any knowledge of the drugs in the home. CCR did not receive information on Abigail's siblings. 

CCR received 38 child referrals in April. Many were teens, and 11 were sibling groups. If you are exploring becoming a foster parent, remember that ALL foster care kids have some level of trauma. Although Abigail's trauma is significant, other kids may display different behaviors and emotions at differing levels. C

CR foster parents across Wisconsin are successfully helping kids heal from trauma. We see a lot of growth and healing with kids in CCR homes. We would love to hear from you if you want to learn more about the kids and how to become a foster parent.  

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Foster families needed for sibling groups and older youth. You CAN help no matter where you live.
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