Damian has been in and out of Wisconsin foster care for five years. He is 14 years old. His mother is incarcerated, awaiting sentencing. He has occasional visits with his father. His cousin does not want to care for him any longer. We tried our best to locate a foster family for Damian. Sadly, we did not have a home available in the right location to meet his needs. Here is a bit of Damian's story:
Damian needs a foster home with at least one parent at home or a parent with a very flexible schedule. A home with consistent and clear rules and expectations. Preferably, the teen requires an experienced foster home with a good understanding of trauma. The boy has been through a lot. He has been diagnosed with depression, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and ADHD. He is not taking any medication, but he is asking for an assessment as he feels medication may help him. In addition, Damian will need help navigating school and needs a parent to advocate for therapy and support services.
It would be appropriate for Damian to be in a home with other children. However, if there are children in the house, it would be best if they were not close in age. Damian likes to "impress" and act "cool" in front of kids his age and does his best to influence others. In addition, he demonstrates kindness to animals, so family pets are okay in a foster home.
Damian's mother is currently facing criminal charges of illegal possession of a firearm and a 4th offense OWI with a minor in the vehicle. Damian was the child in the car when mom received her 3rd and 4th OWI. Should mom go to jail long term, Damian will need placement until his 18th birthday.
He engages with his mom via supervised video chats. His father is allowed in-person contact and will often take Damian for the weekend when he is not working. Damian also has two sisters who live with their grandmother in another state. The siblings can have phone contact. Next month, there is a planned visit with grandma and sisters here in Wisconsin.
Damian's parents were never married but had a relationship for about ten years. His father is in a long-term relationship and lives with his girlfriend. Damian moved to his father's home three years ago after a failed foster care placement and when a court order determined that he could not reside with his mom due to CPS involvement. However, he was ordered to return to his mother when problems began with his dad's girlfriend. She stated the boy was no longer allowed to live in the home.
The mother's most recent DUI meant Damian was moving again. He lives with his mother's cousin for the second time. She is requesting the teen transfer to a licensed foster home. The cousin is a single mother, struggling with Damian's lack of respect and unwillingness to follow the rules. Although he has done well overall, the cousin will be returning to work soon, thus unable to provide the supervision Damian needs.
Damian has experienced a lot of bullying in his life. Unfortunately, this has caused Damian to bully others. He likes to give the impression that he is "tough" and wants to agitate others so they will leave him alone. In addition, the boy has a history of lying and not taking responsibility for his behaviors. Instead, he will deny his involvement and blame others for his behaviors.
Schoolwork has been a struggle for years. Damian is in 9th grade and has an IEP. While he did well with virtual school during 2019/2020, he has a shortened school schedule due to behavioral issues. However, the cousin does not have internet, making it impossible for Damian to learn. During his most recent stay with his mom, he struggled with in-person education again. The school delivered assignments to his home, but Damian never completed or submitted the school work.
Damian's story is not unique. Witness to unhealthy relationships, alcohol abuse, lack of proper schooling, separation from his sisters, unwanted by his father's girlfriend, a mother facing jail time again. ALL creates trauma. Damian presents emotions and behaviors that require consistent parenting, patience, and time to build trusting relationships. Kids like Damian can thrive when a foster family can provide stability and structure! CCR is desperate for more families to become foster parents for kids like Damian.
We receive referrals from counties across Wisconsin daily for kids just like Damian. Kids at risk of aging out of foster care with no place to call home. Most often, we don't have the right home in the right location or don't have enough foster parents who want to help older kids.
Please consider talking with us about fostering teens so kids like Damian can heal with the right services, support, and structure. We see lots of healing here at CCR. We would love for you to join our family to help more kids feel safe and wanted. Learn how to become a foster parent in Wisconsin by calling us today.