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What Bureau County United Way dollars go for ...

Center for Youth and Family Solutions

“Jake” and “Leslie,” the parents of a teenager, were initially referred to the Center for Youth and Family Solutions’ Intact Family Intervention Program by the Department of Children and Family Services. Jake was struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, and the police had been called to the house several times on reports of loud fighting. They had also been recently warned by their landlord they were close to being evicted because of their behavior.

With Leslie working double shifts and Jake out past midnight most nights, their teenager had been getting in trouble in the neighborhood, was struggling in school, and had been picked up for curfew violations numerous times. The family needed help.

Working with the CYFS Intact Program, Jake and Leslie addressed both the substance abuse and child neglect issues. The goal was to keep their child in their home, and they knew they had to make some changes.

After a few months, Jake and Leslie were referred to the CYFS Counseling Program. At first, the idea of counseling angered them both. As part of their counseling, they attended parenting classes that helped them learn ways to strengthen their parenting skills and change their less effective styles. They also went to couple’s and individual counseling. They wanted to find a way to deal with their issues and get back to a sense of normalcy in their home. A CYFS counselor worked with them to find ways to connect with and support each other as parents and as husband and wife. Jake also enrolled in substance abuse classes, while Leslie started attending meetings for families of addicts.

The counseling and classes resulted in a change in the family dynamic. What began as two battling parents, started to look like a unified couple parenting their child. The teen’s behavior began to improve, and the couple’s relationship was growing stronger. The fighting and substance abuse was subsiding.

The couple has continued with their counseling and substance abuse classes to keep on track. Their teen has enrolled in an after-school program that provides a constructive environment to spend afternoons, as well as providing a sense of belonging and trust.

The Center for Youth and Family Solutions is a not-for-profit agency providing social services, in times of crisis, to children and families in Central Illinois. Its services include foster and adoption services, child abuse prevention, counseling, youth, family and community outreach services, intact family intervention, and senior services. For more information on CYFS, visit www.cyfsolutions.org or call 815-223-4007.

Call the Bureau County United Way at 815-872-0821 for information on how you can lend a helping hand to those in need in Bureau County.

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