José’s parents divorced when he was six years old. When his father left, he cut off all contact with the family. José blamed himself and felt very badly for his mom. Over the years the anger he felt toward his father continued to build. Finally, at age 16 he started hanging around with a group of kids who were getting into trouble, and he was arrested for vandalism. Department of Probation referred his case to the Center’s Family Preservation Program, which provides intensive in-home services for families.
José’s father, Miguel, came back to support his son and worked on renewing their relationship. The in-home care team worked to establish bonding routines for José and Miguel. The two would go on long walks together. Slowly their relationship improved and they were able to connect with each other.
But something wasn’t quite right with José. He became weak, started having tremors, and losing muscle. His parents took him to the hospital where doctors diagnosed him with
multiple sclerosis. The crisis brought the family closer together. Miguel made it his mission to support José. He helped with exercises, lifting weights, and they walked together every day. Miguel realized how important he is to his son and accepted the mistakes he had made.
The team taught him how to advocate with Jose’s school to provide special education adjustments for him. They would role play in preparation for upcoming doctor appointments
so Miguel would know what questions to ask. The in-home support was critical and helped José’s parents to improve their own communication in support of their son.
Today, José is able to share his feelings and express himself with his family. His case manager referred him to the local community center to participate in extra-curricular activities. His self-esteem has greatly improved and his physical ailments continue to get better.