Strengthening families for a better tomorrow
- June 06, 2017
In 2015, Cassandra and Garry’s three children were taken into DCFS care after the couple found themselves facing charges for risk of physical/environmental neglect of their children.
“We were associating with the wrong people and allowing the wrong people to be around our kids,” explained Cassandra. So the couple’s three children were placed in the care of their grandmother, while Cassandra and Garry struggled to figure out what to do next.
When LCFS became involved, a child welfare specialist was assigned to the family’s case, helping make sure the children were safe and their needs were being met. She also worked with Cassandra and Garry to determine what needed to happen for them to get their kids back.
Together with the couple, the child welfare specialist developed a service plan that provided Cassandra and Garry with individual therapy, parenting classes and substance-abuse treatment. Cassandra shared that “the counseling helped a lot and my worker helped me be a better mom. (LCFS) kept me from going crazy,” Cassandra said. “(They were) amazing and made a horrible situation bearable.”
As part of their treatment, Cassandra and Garry voluntarily participated in marriage counseling. They were also subject to random drug screening and both tested negative every time. Cassandra and Garry were able to find hope for the future within the midst of this horrible situation.
Prior to her arrest, Cassandra was a paraprofessional in a local school, but subsequently lost her job. Cassandra refused to allow this setback to break her spirit. She enrolled in a trade school and eventually received her EPA Certification for refrigeration and air conditioning repair. “I would have remained at the school working and never would have pushed myself to do anything else,” explained Cassandra.
After completing all the requirements set forth by DCFS, Cassandra and Garry were able to get their children back. And today, the family is thriving. (Some pictures of the family can be seen below.) They have a new appreciation for each other and what it means to be a family.
“Now our relationship with the kids is so much better and even Garry and I get along better, so our marriage is stronger than it was before,” said Cassandra. “I want to thank LCFS for being supportive and helping us through it all. And for always being available for us and the kids.”