Holidays and Family

“What word comes to mind when you think of the holidays?” When asked, the majority of people answer, “Family.” And as odd as it may seem, the children we serve within La Casa de mi Padre answer the same. They almost all say, “Time with family.” That is kind of odd being that the children have been removed from their families for reasons that are never pretty. However, there is a longing for family to be together, no matter the past.

That is where our Family Program steps in. They work to first find any family members, often playing detective. Our director often calls our social workers, “snoop dogs.” Then they work to get to know the family and access whether the family is at a place to reconnect or if there is still work to do prior to reconnecting with the child. When that has been determined, a reconnecting plan is formed with the help of the family members involved, and we walk with the family as they navigate steps forward in reconnecting in healthy ways. It is probable the hardest work we do — but always worth the true healing that comes.

This past year, we have been able to locate family members of several of the children whom we had no knowledge or contact with. Working with both the courts and the family, several of the children have been able to visit with and reconnect with family members — sisters, brothers, aunts, etc. — whom they had lost contact when removed from their homes.

We want to always have hearts that cheer family reconnection, continued interaction and even reunification when safe to do so. We want to cheer families on towards real healing. As you gather with family this special season, would you think to say a prayer for the children we serve, their families and for reconnection? We’d appreciate your prayers in this important work.